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Tennessee bill would block local governments from reappointing expelled lawmakers to office

A bill introduced in the Tennessee House Thursday would block local governments from re-appointing state lawmakers expelled for “disorderly conduct” to fill their own vacant seat.

The Nashville Tennessean reports that the proposal is an apparent response to last year’s expulsions of Democratic Representatives Justin Jones of Nashville and Justin Pearson of Memphis, who were both reappointed to their vacant seats by their respective local governments.

Under the Volunteer State’s constitution, local bodies have the right to fill a legislative vacancy as they see fit, so long as the person is an eligible voter in the district.

Another House resolution introduced in January would amend Tennessee’s constitution to prohibit expelled lawmakers from qualifying for a General Assembly office for four years following expulsion.

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