Tennessee House Republicans expel two Democrats, keep one, over gun floor protests
The Tennessee House voted 72-25 to expel Rep. Justin Jones of Nashville and 69-26 to remove Rep. Justin Pearson of Memphis. Rep. Gloria Johnson of Knoxville survived expulsion by a single vote.
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.
This story was originally published by the Tennessee Lookout.