Tennessee Three: Nashville council members pledge to reinstate expelled Rep. Justin Jones

Tennessee Lawmaker Expulsion
Former Rep. Justin Jones, D-Nashville, poses for a portrait in the gallery of the House chamber Thursday, April 6, 2023, in Nashville, Tenn. Jones was expelled from the legislature for using a bullhorn to shout support for pro-gun control protesters in the House chamber. (AP Photo/George Walker IV) George Walker IV/AP

Tennessee Three: Nashville council members pledge to reinstate expelled Rep. Justin Jones

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A majority of Nashville Metropolitan Council members pledged they would vote to reinstate former state Rep. Justin Jones. Jones and fellow Democratic Rep. Justin Pearson were expelled from the House for a protest in favor of gun control.

At least 23 of the 39-member council either announced on social media or told NBC News that they condemned Thursday’s expulsion and would vote to reinstate Jones as early as possible. The council is slated to hold a special meeting on Monday to decide whether to replace or reinstate the expelled state representative.

TENNESSEE REPUBLICANS EXPEL TWO OF THREE DEMOCRATIC LAWMAKERS WHO PROTESTED ON HOUSE FLOOR

Several council members told NBC News that hundreds of their constituents had reached out decrying Thursday’s decision and demanding Jones’s reinstatement.

“They removed the voice from 140,000 people who voted for them,” Council member Burkley Allen told the outlet. “It’s a terrible precedent to set, that ‘we disagree with you and you’ve disrupted our House proceedings and therefore we’re expelling you.’ That’s not the way democracy works.”

The pledge means that Jones will likely be reinstated to his position — a possibility that Republicans made clear they were aware of during the over six-and-a-half-hour-long debate before the vote to expel Jones. Rep. Gino Bulso (R) specifically denounced the notion that the expulsion was undemocratic. He argued that his constituents could vote him back in after the expulsion.

Jones was expelled in a resolution that passed 72-25. The move was in retaliation to his protest for increased gun control with a megaphone on the House floor. Fellow Democratic State Rep. Justin Pearson was also expelled with a 69-26 vote, but a motion to expel State Rep. Gloria Johnson (D) failed to pass.

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Jones was defiant in the proceedings. He said that even if he was expelled, he would keep showing up to make sure his message gets heard.

“My prayer to you is that even if you expel me that you still act to address the crisis of mass shootings, because if I’m expelled from here, I’ll be back out there with the people every week demanding that you act. If you expel me, I’ll continue to show up,” he said. “If you expel me, I’ll continue to show up.”

© 2023 Washington Examiner

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