Tennessee GOP Reaches Limit, Expels Democrat Lawmaker from State House

Republican lawmakers in Tennessee reached their limit and voted to expel the first of three Democrat legislators from the state House over their anti-gun protests on the chamber floor.

The GOP voted to out Democrat State Rep. Justin Jones.

Democrat State Reps. Gloria Johnson and Justin Pearson will get the same vote and everyone expects the same result.

“What is happening here today is a situation in which the jury has already publicly announced the verdict,” Jones said during a speech to try to keep his job.

“A lynch mob assembled to not lynch me, but our democratic process.”

The state House has taken only twice since the 1860s.

Speaker of the House Cameron Sexton said the three Democrats’ actions “are and always will be unacceptable” and broke “several rules of decorum and procedure on the House floor.”

“In effect, those actions took away the voices of the protestors, the focus on the six victims who lost their lives, and the families who lost their loved ones,” Sexton said.

“We cannot allow the actions of the three members to distract us from protecting our children.

“We will get through this together, and it will require talking about all solutions.”

“It’s morally insane that a week after a mass shooting took six precious lives in my community here in Nashville, my colleagues on the other side of the aisle, their first action is not to take actions to rein in this proliferation of weapons of war in our streets, but it’s to expel their colleagues for standing with our constituents,” Jones said.

“This is not just about losing my job,” he added, saying constituents of the three representatives “are being taken and silenced by a party that is acting like authoritarians.”

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Pearson said:

“We broke a House rule but it does not meet the threshold for actually expelling members of the House who were duly elected by their district, who sent us here to serve, and now they’re being disenfranchised by the Republican party of the state of Tennessee.”

“I want people to know this is not a political issue, it’s a child issue,” Deborah Castellano, a first-grade teacher in Nashville said.

“If you wash away Democrat, Republican, it’s about kids and do we want them to be safe or not.

“I will stand in front of children and protect as many as I can with my body but we shouldn’t have to, and those kids shouldn’t be afraid.”

“The fact that this vote is happening is shocking, undemocratic, and without precedent,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said.

“Across Tennessee and across America, our kids are paying the price for the actions of Republican lawmakers.”

READ MORE: Transgender Arrested for Planning School Shooting in Colorado

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By David Hawkins

David Hawkins is a writer who specializes in political commentary and world affairs. He's been writing professionally since 2014.

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