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Three Tennessee Democrats face expulsion from state congress after taking part in a pro- gun control protest.
Representatives Justin Jones (D-Nashville), Justin Pearson (D-Memphis), and Gloria Johnson (D-Knoxville) openly supported Tennessee Capitol protestors who urged lawmakers to pass gun control measures.
Meanwhile, Nashville, Tennessee is the site of a recent school shooting. In March, three young students and three teachers died from gun violence.
Reps Jones, Pearson, and Johnson allegedly spoke out of turn at Congress when they chanted on the House floor in support of gun control measures. Congress paused its session due to the alleged disruption.
Initially, the three lost their committee memberships following their support of gun control. However, the GOP now seeks to teach a lesson to the Democrats, two of whom are Black, about what happens when they disagree with the state’s political majority.
Tennessee Republican Speaker of the House Cameron Sexton actually compared the gun control protest to the January 6, 2021 insurrection at the Capitol. Seven people died during that attack, with hundreds of law enforcement officials injured.
Additionally, according to House Speaker Sexton, the trio caused a major disturbance in Congress. Sexton stated that the Democrats chose to to “break several rules of decorum and procedure on the House floor.”
The resolutions filed against Reps Johnson, Jones, and Pearson claim the three participated in “disorderly behavior.” Additionally, they “knowingly and intentionally brought disorder and dishonor to the House of Representatives.”
According to Tennessee Democratic Party Chair Hendrell Remus, the expulsion is likely to pass. Currently the Tennessee GOP has a supermajority across Congress, and has the votes to expel the lawmakers.
In an interview with Newsweek, Remus said, “We anticipate that this is probably going to happen. And right now, we’re just in the stages of how do we navigate the legality of it after it happens. And then, you know, getting either these representatives re-elected to their roles, or new Democrats elected to those same seats.”
The representatives’ ID badges have already been revoked, limiting their access to the Capitol. Another Tennessee lawmaker referred to the trio as “former” representatives.