A trio of Democratic legislators who engaged in protests on the Tennessee statehouse’s House floor are now slated to confront expulsion later in the week. In a disconcerting turn of events, these representatives were divested of their committee assignments on Monday.
Consequences await representatives for speaking out of turn
Facing potential disciplinary measures, Representatives Justin J. Pearson, Justin Jones, and Gloria Johnson have found themselves in a precarious situation.
Their support for demonstrators advocating heightened gun control measures at the Capitol comes mere days after the heartrending shooting incident at Covenant School.
We are members, who are standing in the well, telling our speakers and our colleagues that kids should not be murdered in school,” So now Republicans will vote to expel the three Democrats from the Tennessee Legislature following gun control protest https://t.co/nB5AoyiNKC
— D. C. aka Foxy SAVE DEMOCRACY (@Getyourfoxyback) April 4, 2023
Asserting the importance of giving voice to protestors, Rep. Jones defended their actions, emphasizing the need for duly elected officials to be heard.
Each representing over 70,000 individuals, Rep. Jones said, “After being silenced multiple times, we approached the well to assert the voices of our constituents matter, as do the voices of those gathered.”
However, House leadership maintains these members overstepped the bounds of the House rules of order by speaking out of turn. House Speaker Cameron Sexton had previously suggested there would be consequences for the three representatives.
Legislators demand attention to school shootings after recent tragedy
During a press conference on Monday, Jones claimed that Sexton is more focused on politics than addressing the recent mass shooting at Covenant School.
According to Jones, “As members, we’re here standing in the well, conveying a message to our speakers and fellow colleagues: the issue of children being killed in schools should not be ignored.”
“Rather than tackling this problem, the speaker has devoted a greater portion of their weekend on Twitter discussing a fabricated insurrection, rather than showing concern for the loss of six lives, including innocent nine-year-old kids.”
“A resolution to expel Justin Jones from his seat as a member of the House of Representatives…”
Just handed this on the House floor, but they still have to vote. We’ll not be intimidated. THE PEOPLE are demanding we act to stop kids from being murdered in school. #goodtrouble pic.twitter.com/SWvWA5tTPI
— Rep. Justin Jones (@brotherjones_) April 3, 2023
In the string of legislative expulsion, the most recent occurrence took place in 2022. At that time, former Democratic Sen. Katrina Robinson found herself expelled subsequent to a conviction on wire fraud charges.
This article appeared in TheDailyBeat and has been published here with permission.
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