Tennessee House Expusion: Protests Planned For Monday After Justin Jones And Justin Pearson Were Expelled From The State House


Praca, Oferty Pracy

Tennessee House expusion: Protests planned for Monday after Justin Jones and Justin Pearson were expelled from the state House

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Demonstrators are expected to protest at the Tennessee Capitol on Monday against the expulsion of two of the state’s Democratic representatives, as officials in Nashville are set to consider sending one of them back to the House.


Representatives Justin Jones and Justin Pearson, both black, were ousted from the legislature by a two-thirds majority cast by their Republican counterparts on Thursday, after participating in a gun control demonstration in the House of Representatives a few days earlier. Rep. Gloria Johnson, a white woman and Democrat who also marched, survived the vote and retained her seat in the GOP-dominated House.

The Tennessee House of Representatives will return to business on Monday with a meeting of the Appropriations Subcommittee, a meeting of the Government Operating Committee, and a meeting of the House of Representatives on schedule.

Less than a mile away, in the shadow of the Capitol, would be the Nashville Metropolitan Council. meet at 4:30 p.m. to discuss appointing Jones as a temporary representative to his now vacant seat in District 52 of the House of Representatives.


“I’m sure we have the votes to put him back in his place,” council member Könzte Toombs told CNN. But she noted that if two board members vote against suspending a procedural rule allowing nomination and appointment in the same caucus, the final vote on appointing Jones to the interim position could be delayed.

The vote will be delayed by a month unless the rule is suspended, Nashville Vice Mayor Jim Shulman told CNN Monday. “If two people object, we go back to the basic rule… which is that we have to wait four weeks. But if we don’t get that many objections, then we can suspend the rules… and vote tonight,” Shulman said.

As state and local officials hold rallies on Monday, protesters are planning a day of action that includes a rally before a city council meeting and then a march to the state capitol.

The exile and expected protests are part of America’s longstanding debate about gun availability, and this latest standoff was sparked by last month’s mass shooting at a Nashville Christian school that killed six people, including three 9-year-olds. children.


Following this shooting, Jones, Pearson, and Johnson marched into the state House of Representatives to campaign for gun control, using a bullhorn to address their colleagues and protesters.

Republicans accused the trio of “knowingly and willfully” bringing “disturbance and dishonor to the House of Representatives” by not being recognized as a voting right. CNN affiliate WSMV reported. Then on Thursday, the Republicans held a party-line vote to oust Jones and Pearson.

The exiled representatives called the expulsions undemocratic and racist.

“What happened was a travesty of democracy because they expelled the two youngest black legislators, not coincidentally, from the Tennessee Legislature,” Jones said on CNN’s This Morning Friday. “Because we’re outspoken, because we’re fighting for our neighborhood.”


Pearson, speaking at an Easter Sunday service at Reki Church in Memphis, thanked parishioners and the community for their support.

“The overwhelming majority of the Republican-led Tennessee General Assembly sought the political lynching of three of its members because we stood out of turn against the status quo of government after the tragic deaths of six people in a Covenant school shooting. in Nashville,” he said.

Commission chairman Mikell Lowry said Pearson’s vacant seat in District 86 will be considered at a special meeting of the Shelby County Board of Commissioners in Memphis Wednesday afternoon.

“I believe that State Representative Justin Pearson’s removal was hastily made without regard to other corrective action methods,” Lowery said in a statement.

According to Constitution of Tennesseeas the next general election is over 12 months away, a snap election will be held in November 2024 to fill the seats.

Tennessee law allows the appointment of temporary members of the House of Representatives to fill the seats of excluded legislators until a special election is held.

No date has been set for the snap election, but state law sets a time frame for when the governor must call them.

According to the state code, a “ballot” for a “primary to be nominated by state political parties to fill a vacancy” must be called within 55 to 60 days. And a general election to fill the vacancy must be called within 100 to 107 days.

It appears that both Jones and Pearson are eligible to run for their seats again in a special election.

Under Tennessee law, a state representative must be at least 21 years of age, be a US citizen, have lived in the state for at least three years, and have lived in their district for one year prior to the election.

They must also be qualified county voters, which requires the resident to be 18 years of age and not have a criminal record.

Both Jones and Pearson meet these requirements.

And while the state constitution states that members can be expelled for disorderly conduct by a two-thirds majority, they cannot be expelled “a second time for the same offense.”

The expulsion of lawmakers is a fairly rare occurrence in Tennessee, and last week’s vote by a large majority of Republicans in the state provoked reactions from many senior officials.

On Thursday, President Joe Biden called the expulsion “shocking, undemocratic and unprecedented,” criticizing Republicans for not taking more action on gun reform.

More about the three representatives:

Rep. Justin Pearson:

  • County: 86
  • Age: 28
  • In the office: 2023-
  • Iquestions: Environmental, racial and economic justice
  • Mark: Successfully blocked the construction of an oil pipeline in the south of Memphis
  • Recent awards: Root’s 100 Most Powerful Black Americans (2022)Rep. Gloria Johnson:
  • County: 90
  • Age: 60
  • In the office: 2013-2015, 2019-
  • Problems: Education, work, healthcare
  • Mark: Successfully organized to benefit Insure Tennessee, the government’s version of the Medicaid expansion.
  • Recent awards: National Foundation for Women Legislators “Outstanding Women” (2022)Rep. Justin Jones:
  • County: 52
  • Age: 27
  • In the office: 2023-
  • Problems: Health care, environmental justice
  • Mark: Wrote People’s Square: 62 Days of Nonviolent Resistance after helping organize the 2022 sit-in.
  • Recent awards: Ubuntu Distinguished Service Award, Vanderbilt Black Alumni and Professional Student Organization (2019)
  • Vice President Kamala Harris traveled to Nashville on Friday to advocate for stricter gun control measures and stress the importance of protecting Americans from gun violence. She also met privately with Jones, Pearson, and Johnson.

    “When we took an oath to represent the people who elected us, we understand that we speak on their behalf. It wasn’t about those three leaders,” Harris said in a speech after the meeting. “It was about who they represented. The point is whose voices they conveyed. Understand, isn’t that what democracy allows?”

    Jones said that that week he and other lawmakers were banned from speaking about gun violence on the floor of the House of Representatives, saying their microphones were muted whenever they brought up the subject. WSMV reported.

    After the three representatives demonstrated last Thursday, Republican House Speaker Cameron S*xton called their actions “unacceptable” and said they violated “several rules of decency and procedure on the floor of the House of Representatives.”

    There have been two exceptions in the State Chamber in the past 157 years. The last exile in the State House was in 2016, when a representative was expelled due to allegations of sexual harassment. In 1980, a representative was expelled after a member was found guilty of accepting a bribe in the line of duty.


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