Both Tennessee Reps. Justin Jones and Justin Pearson Reinstated After Expulsion
Contact Speaker of the Tennessee House, Rep. Cameron Sexton, and demand justice for the Tennessee three.
Updated April 12, 2023
- Shelby County Board of Commissioners reappointed Rep. Justin Pearson to his seat in the Tennessee House. Chairman Mickell M. Lowery of the commission said:
“I think that it’s important that the people of District 86 are represented by the person that they voted overwhelmingly to have in the office.”
- Pearson was voted back in by a simple majority and has returned to the legislature on an interim basis. Like Rep. Jones, he can run in the special election to regain his seat.
- Wednesday afternoon, Pearson led a march from the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis to the Shelby County Commission building, telling his followers, “Show me what Democracy looks like. He said:
“This is the Democracy that is going to transform a broken nation and a broken state into the place that God calls for it to be. This is the Democracy that is going to lift up the victims of gun violence instead of supporting the NRA and the gun lobbyists.”
Updated April 11, 2023
- Nashville's Metro Council unanimously voted to reinstate Rep. Justin Jones to his seat in the Tennessee House. Jones is back on an interim basis until the special election, where he will run for the position.
- Vice Mayor Jim Shulman said during Monday's meeting:
"Justin Jones has been elected to the vacancy of Tennessee House 52 pursuant to the state law and the rules governing the Metropolitan Council."
- Jones returned to the state Capitol shortly after the vote to be sworn back into office. After returning to his desk, he said:
"I want to welcome democracy back to the people's house...Truth crushed to the ground will rise again. No injustice attack on democracy will happen unchallenged."
- Meanwhile, commissioners are set to meet tomorrow, Wednesday, to discuss reappointing Rep. Justin Pearson in Shelby County.
Updated April 10, 2023
- The representatives expelled from the Tennessee House — Justin Jones and Justin Pearson — could soon return to their seats in the state legislature.
- Nashville's Metro Council could vote Rep. Jones in to fill the vacant position on an interim basis as early as Monday night. Members of the Nashville council publicly stated that they hope to return Jones to his position. Once the board appoints an interim House nominee, Jones can run in the county's special election and carry out his term.
- For Rep. Pearson, reappointment could happen later this week at a meeting of the Shelby County Commission in his district. Commissioner Erika Sugarmon said there is a high chance that Pearson will be reinstated, as he has enough supporters in the commission. Shelby County will also hold a special election to fill the seat, which Pearson can run in.
- The reps said they are working to return to their place as lawmakers. Jones told NBC:
"We will continue to fight for our constituents."
What’s the story?
- Two out of three Democratic representatives in Tennessee who attended gun control protests on the chamber floor following the Covenant School shooting in Nashville have been expelled from the Republican-dominated House.
- Both ousted reps, Justin J. Pearson and Justin Jones, are black men. Gloria Johnson, the third rep at risk of expulsion, is one of the few women in the House.
- The three were singled out in the General Assembly for their part in anti-gun protests. During the demonstration, the three reps held a sign that said, “Protect kids, not guns,” and used a megaphone to demand stricter gun laws.
The Republican reaction
- In an apparent act of retribution, the Republican-led House voted to expel the three reps in a dramatic seven-hour session representing the third expulsion since the Civil War.
- The Reps voted along party lines. The vote to expel Jones was 75-25; 65-30 for Johnson; and 69-29 for Pearson, which narrowly kept her short of the two-thirds majority needed to expel a rep successfully.
- While there was no criminal wrongdoing or negligence on the parts of the reps, the Republicans said their conduct violated appropriate decorum for representatives, saying they “intentionally [brought] disorder and dishonor” to the House and “proceeded to disrupt the proceedings of the House Representatives.”
- The expulsions were carried out under Article II, Section 12 of the Tennessee Constitution, which states that the House can “punish its members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds, expel a member.”
What the Democrat Reps said
“They’re trying to silence the voice of the people that have different ideas in them, and to me that’s incredibly scary. That is going to have a chilling effect, not only on the people in Tennessee, but across the country, when they see in the states with supermajorities that they can just expel members for a few minutes of speaking when they don’t have permission.”
“My community is still grieving here in Nashville. And a week after this mass shooting, the first major action from the Republican supermajority is to expel and oust three of us for demanding action on gun violence.”
- During his expulsion, Rep. Jones stated:
“We called for you all to ban assault weapons and you respond with an assault on democracy.”
“We have to think about the power of peaceful protests to help create change, and to say that our peaceful protest deserves our expulsion because we were advocating for gun laws and gun control is just asinine.”
- After the vote, Rep. Pearson, who is white, speculated that she was saved from expulsion by her skin color. Advocates have been demanding “justice for the Tennessee Three,” a woman and two men of color, in front of the State Capitol in light of the expulsion.
- Joe Biden condemned the decision:
“Three kids and three officials gunned down in yet another mass shooting. And what are GOP officials focused on? Punishing lawmakers who joined thousands of peaceful protesters calling for action. It’s shocking, undemocratic, and without precedent.”
Contact Speaker of the Tennessee House, Rep. Cameron Sexton, and demand justice for the Tennessee three.
—Emma Kansiz & Jamie Epstein
(Photo Credit: Twitter)
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It is awful that the representatives standing up for the communities that they represent are being punished for speaking out about something that personally affects their communities, and has and will continue to hurt other communities. They were trying to make a statement and literally stated that Congress cares more about guns than children, which couldn't be more true. They shouldn't have been punished for doing what was right. If the GOP is as pro-life as they say then they would have done something about the gun violence in this country by now. Guns are the highest reason for children's deaths in this country. Not only in school do guns affect children, but they affect them at home, on the street, in stores, and anywhere they are supposed to feel safe. Why are guns more important than the children of this country?
They should be banned permanetly from any office
We have a two party system in this country which most Americans agree to adhere to, as the framework of our democratic form of government. It is only the truly un-American who rejects this by making rules that allow duly elected legislaters to be removed from office for an opinion.
Seems like an insurrection to me. They should be locked up.
Yeah, the TN3 just voted against legislation to increase spending for school security. They really aren't interested in solving the problem.
An old saying says: "Give a man enough rope and he will hang himself." Seems that the Republican Party and it's extremists are doing a very good job. If states don't want to follow the U.S. Constitution, then they can damn well leave the country. If it should happen, then the federal government must immediately pull all federal funding, military bases, no more FEMA, No public education, no Social Security, no medicare and medicaid, etc. Then let us see how long they can last without my tax dollars to supliment their needs. They can't stop people from leaving their state and all hell would break loose if they tried. It poses to be the best show on earth.
As an American and strong supporter of american rights for ALL, what this congressional group has done is unconscionable and unconstitutional. How dare the silence the voices of representatives who are speaking for the majority of the citizens in their districts (as well as the majority of american citizens)! As a nation, we are a global laughing stock... What reasonable democratic nation accepts the CONSTANT slaughter of it's citizens (esp. children), considering it to be less important than the unfettered "right" to own a weapon of major destruction? Gun manufacturers and the NRA have a vice-like grip on too many goverment "representatives"/republicans! These 3 Tennesseean representatives ARE speaking for the people and trying to do something RIGHT... and make changes that are long over-due. HOW DARE THEY BE SILENCED!!! A grave, arrogant, narrow-minded mistake!!!
They should have NEVER been treated like that...
But as so they were....
HAHA on the GOP.... who thought they were making a brilliant power play and all they accomplished was to SHOW PROOF POSITIVE of their RACISM... and IGNORANCE of WHAT THE PEOPLE WANT AND WHO THE HELL they are there to SERVE....
Thanks for giving the Democratic Party a Lift...keep at it and we will enjoy defeating you this November and every November.
It is evident the defenders of the Tenn3 in this forum did not witness their RUDE & CRUDE behavior. TO grab a bullhorn and try to block somebody they oppose is to be expected by DICTATORIAL THUGS on the Left.
Listen to Justin Pearson campaign for college STUDENT President IN 2016 & hear how he tries to sound like MLK alllllllll over again. SUCH A FAKE!
The faux-guilty white lady liberal intimated SHE wasn't expelled because she was white. (PLAY THE RACE CARD, dear!) She forgets to mention she tried to explain & minimize her culpability, basically claiming her behavior did not warrant expulsion. WHAT A PHONY!
Harry-you need to ck. your facts re. the assault weapon ban-IT DID DECREASE MASS SHOOTINGS.
Looks like the damn Republicans in TN just lost this assault on democracy.
It's no surprise Democrats send disruptive radicals to represent nothing but chaos. They sure don't represent anything for their constituents. Justin Jones ought to be in jail. This BLM supporter represents no one but himself. The same can be said for all three of these useless "Representatives."
Strongly I support the stricter gun control laws as the state and federal laws across our country, but I am tired but fed-up about frequent gun violence and frequent mass shootings in any places across our country. Our America is not the safe nation in North America. Otherwise I strongly defend " Tennessee 3" who are Democrats then they should be restored to be back to Tennessee State Legislature to resume their work. So that I acknowledge that all of " Tennessee 3" are strongly the gun control supporters in the law practice. The Republicans really make big mistakes.
Gun control laws will only affect law-abiding people. You won't stop someone wanting to committ violence from getting a gun. The orginial assault weapons ban did nothing to slow down crime.
Responded further to Protest Music thread.
Help me understand, how is the GOP PRO LIFE, with out strengthing
laws to help prevent the massive number of deaths and injuries thrrough out our country due to gun violence????????
The Tennessean State House just summarily canceled two of the people' representatives becuase they had the audacity to join protestors demanding realistic gun control laws in the wake of another mass killing of innocents. The House was just passing laws to greatly relax guin control laws and the protest, joined by fellow House members, called attention to their actions.
State Republican Cartel dominated legislatures are worried that our youth can see though their entitled hipocrisy of selling political favor to their benefactors and working for them instead of the people they supposedly represent. That is why they are gerrymandering districts in violation of their own states laws and making it harder for people to vote -particularly younger voters, and those who cannot make it to distant or limited hour polling stations.
These two young black men shined a light on their actions and the entrenched legislators used the authorities granted to them by the people to suppress the representatives of the people who dared to expose them.
Justice for Justin!
We the people see the Tennessee GOP failed in their attempt to squash young Black voices in the state House, and we won't let it happen again.
Tennessee is currently the most anti-democratic state in the union, but surely other states aren't far behind. As long state legislatures are gerrymandered to the extreme that only one party and one "side" is controlling the whole game, Democracy is not working.
I hope the people of Tennessee rise up and make their voices heard in a peaceful, but meaningful way. And I hope that spreads to other states.
I thought the clown circus act was good. The chief clown had no idea what is relevant, run on conspiracy theories, racist propaganda and did Trump normal circus act.🤡🤡🤡 and TN is no different!!!!!
Some of the Republican Party Supreme Court should be kick out of their corrupt, kickbacks and collusion. It sounds like TN needs a house cleaning just like the supreme courts!
The GOP have weaponize the government ever since Reagan. Reagan told you to fear the government, he did say which party! It just happened to be his GOP Republican Party