Recently expelled former Tennessee Reps. Justin Jones and Justin PearsonThose who were expelled from the Republican-led Tennessee House last week for joining a protest on the House floor demanding stricter gun control are seeking reinstatement.
Nashville’s Metro Council has called a special meeting Monday, during which it will likely vote to install Jones as its own interim successor, effectively handing him back his seat for the time being. A vote to reappoint Pearson to her seat will be held Wednesday, according to Michael Lowry, chairman of the Shelby County Board of Commissioners.
Special elections for the vacated seats will be held in the coming months, and both Pearson and Jones said on “Meet the Press” Sunday that they intend to run in those elections to officially reclaim their positions.
March 30, as Protesters gather at the state capitol, two Democratic representatives, along with a third Democrat, Rep. Gloria Johnson, joined the protest on the House floor. Pearson and Jones led chants of “power to the people” using a megaphone.
Tennessee House Voted for expulsion Both Jones and Pearson, who is black, survived his own ouster attempt Thursday, while Johnson, who is white, by one vote.
Lowry said in his statement Sunday night that he believes Pearson’s expulsion was conducted in a “hasty manner” that did not consider “other corrective action procedures.” Lowery noted that Pearson’s ouster particularly affected him as a 28-year-old former resident of the district — which has more than 68,000 voters.
The removal of Jones and Pearson leaves a total of about 140,000 citizens without proper local representation in the majority-black Tennessee districts of Knoxville and Nashville, according to the Associated Press.
“A state where the Ku Klux Klan was founded is now attempting another power grab by silencing the two youngest black representatives,” Jones said on the House floor before the vote.
Attempts to crucify Tennessee Republican democracy have resurfaced in the form of youth-led mass movements. That gives me hope.
— Rep. Justin Jones (@brotherjones_) April 9, 2023
Lowery said, in view of this, the protest in the capital Shooting at a private Christian school That left three 9-year-old children and three adults dead, “makes sense considering that gun laws are becoming almost non-existent in the state of Tennessee.”
“It’s equally understandable that the leadership of the state House of Representatives felt a strong message should be sent to those who violated the rules,” Lowry added.
Shortly before he was fired, Pearson said Thursday, “We’ve heard from thousands of people asking us to do something about gun violence. Ending gun violence is in the best interest of our people.”