Tennessee House Republicans Expel Two Democrats, Keep One, Over Gun Floor Protests

Adam Friedman, Tennessee Lookout

The Tennessee House of Representatives voted along party lines to expel Democratic Reps. Justin Jones and Justin Pearson from its body for leading a floor protest over gun violence one week ago, but Rep. Gloria Johnson survived expulsion by one vote.

The expulsion vote against Jones, D-Nashville, was 72-25, and 69-26 against Pearson, D-Memphis. It needed 66 votes it pass.

The vote against Johnson, D-Knoxville, was 65-30, one short of the number needed to expel as seven Republicans voted to keep her.

The trio is accused of violating the House rules of decorum when they took over the speaking podium to lead chants with a crowd protesting the lack of action by lawmakers on gun violence after six were killed — including three children — in a mass shooting at a religious school in Nashville.

Rep. Charlie Baum, R-Murfressboro, was the only Republican to vote against kicking Jones out. Rep. Sam Whitson, R-Franklin, was present but did not vote on Jones’ expulsion resolution.

The expulsion hearing for Jones went on for nearly two hours.

Reps. Jody Barrett, R-Dickson; Rush Bricken, R-Tullahoma; Bryan Richey, R-Maryville; Lowell Russell, R-Vonore; Mike Sparks, R-Smyrna; Baum and Whitson voted against removing Johnson. Reps. John Gillespie, R-Memphis, and Bryan Terry, R-Murfreesboro, were present but abstained from voting.

The expulsion hearing for Johnson lasted 90 minutes.

Baum, Gillespie and Richey voted against expelling Pearson. Whitson was present but did not vote to remove Pearson.

The expulsion hearing for Pearson lasted 90 minutes.

Twitter thread of the expulsion hearing

Tennessee Lookout is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Tennessee Lookout maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Holly McCall for questions: info@tennesseelookout.com. Follow Tennessee Lookout on Facebook and Twitter.

About J. Williams

Check Also

Senators Durbin, Warnock, Schumer

Senate Dems Reintroduce Bill to ‘Restore Critical Safeguards’ of Voting Rights Act

Civil and voting rights advocates on Thursday cheered the reintroduction of the John R. Lewis …

Leave a Reply