They Violated the Rules…Now They’re OUT

Republican lawmakers trying to enforce the law voted out two out of three Democrats that violated House rules. The two that were voted out happened to be black. The one that remained is white. Justin Jones was the first one to be expelled. Rep. Gloria Johnson was the second, she remains. The third vote to expel was Justin Pearson. People in the chamber cheered for Gloria. One vote was party line.

Democrats violated rules

The vote to expel Jones was the party line, 72-25. The effort to remove Johnson didn’t succeed, needing a two-thirds vote out of all 100 members.

Johnson’s vote was 65-30. Pearson’s vote was 69-26 so he was removed.

Democrats accused of disorderly behavior

The resolution named the behavior and purposely bringing “disorder and dishonor to the House of Representatives” while protesting gun violence recently as reasons for the vote. The votes were unprecedented and brought attention to the Tennessee General Assembly.

Hundreds of protesters chanting their support for the “Tennessee Three” could be heard throughout the session Thursday. At the beginning of the proceedings the House Republicans voted to air a heavily edited video in spite of Democrat objections.

Democrats expelled

The video led quickly to the vote. It was not unlike a trial with Democrats given 20 minutes to air their side of the story. Members then debate the resolution then each is allowed to answer questions about the accusations.

Jones was upset the deed was done. “What is happening here today is a situation in which the jury has already publicly announced the verdict. A lynch mob assembled to not lynch me but our democratic process.” Jones tried to “stand for those young people … many of whom can’t even vote yet but all of whom are terrified by the continued trend of mass shootings plaguing our state and plaguing this nation.”

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