Tennessee Republicans vote to ban Democrats who protest guns

Expulsion is an unusual move that the Chamber has used only a handful of times since the Civil War.

NASHVILLE, Tennessee — Tennessee’s Republican-dominated House of Representatives has ousted two of three Democrats who played a role in pro-gun control demonstrations following the Nashville school shooting. bottom.

Thursday’s vote to oust Rep. Justin Pearson came after fellow Democratic Rep. Justin Jones was ousted, but the vote to oust Rep. Gloria Johnson failed.

Expulsion is an unusual move that the Chamber has used only a handful of times since the Civil War.

They chanted up and down the floor of the room as a trio of gun control advocates packed the gallery after six people, including three children, were fatally shot at a Covenant school in Nashville. Came a week later.

Republicans in Tennessee on Thursday kicked out Democrats from the state legislature who took part in protests calling for stricter gun control in the wake of the Nashville school shooting.

An overwhelming Republican majority in the House declined by one vote to oust the second Democrat. A vote against a third Democrat was imminent.

A 72-25 vote to oust Rep. Justin Jones was a move the Chamber had used only a handful of times since the Civil War. Most state legislatures have the power to expel members, but this is generally reserved as a punishment for members accused of gross misconduct and not used as a weapon against political opponents.

Congressman Gloria Johnson narrowly avoided dismissal.She joined Rep. Jones and Justin Pearson last week as hundreds of protesters flocked to the Capitol passing gun control measuresAs demonstrators filled the gallery, three Democrats approached the front of the House floor with loudspeakers and joined in the chant.

The protests unfolded days after the shooting at Covenant School, a private Christian school, where six people were killed. including 3 children.

“We are losing democracy. This is not normal. This is not good,” Pearson told reporters. We are fighting for the children who are living in war and for people in our communities who want to end the spread of weapons in their communities. ”

Johnson, a retired teacher, said her concerns about a school shooting were personal, and after a student was shot dead in the cafeteria in 2008, students ran toward her from the cafeteria. I remembered that day.

“Those facial traumas I will never forget. I don’t want to forget,” he said.

The noise drowned out the proceedings as thousands flocked to the Capitol on Thursday to support Democrats, cheering and chanting loudly outside the House floor.

trio Hand in hand, Pearson raised his fist at the crowd during the Pledge of Allegiance as they stepped onto the floor of the House of Commons.

Offering an opportunity to defend himself before the vote, Jones said Republicans responded to the shootings with a different kind of attack.

“I have called on you to ban offensive weapons, and you will respond with attacks on democracy,” he said.

If expelled, Jones vowed he would keep the pressure on For action with guns.

“I go out with people every week and demand that you act,” he said.

Republican Rep. Gino Bruso said three Democrats “effectively rebelled.”

“Gentlemen have no remorse,” said Bruso, referring to Jones. “He doesn’t even realize that what he did was wrong. Therefore, not ousting him would simply involve him and his colleagues in an uprising on the House floor.”

Even if exiled, the three senators may not be around for long. A district’s county commission may choose a successor until a special election is scheduled.

Expelled MPs are eligible to return to their seats. They would also be eligible to run for special elections. Also, under the Tennessee Constitution, a legislator cannot be exiled twice for the same offense.

Republican Rep. Sabi Kumar advised Jones, who is black, to be more of a colleague and less focused on race.

“There is a lot to offer, but offer so that people are receptive to your ideas,” Kumar said.

Jones said he had no intention of assimilating in order to be accepted. “I’m not here to make friends. I’m here to make a difference in my community,” he replied.

Anger at the prospect of expulsion highlighted not only the Republican majority’s ability to silence its opponents, but its growing willingness to do so.

In Washington, President Joe Biden denounced Republican priorities.

“Three children and three officials were shot dead in yet another mass shooting. And what are Republican officials focusing on? Thousands of peaceful protesters demanding action. “Shocking, undemocratic and unprecedented,” Biden tweeted.

Many of the protesters traveled from Memphis and Knoxville, areas represented by Pearson and Johnson, to line up inside the Capitol.

Protesters outside the chamber, along with a picture of George Washington, chanted, “School zones should not be war zones,” “Muskets did not fire 950 rounds per minute,” and “You can’t silence guns.” It can be done, but it is not the voice of the people.

Before the eviction vote, House members debated more than 20 bills, including the School Safety Proposal, which requires public and private schools to submit building safety plans to the state. The bill’s lack of mention of gun control prompted criticism from some Democratic lawmakers that they were only addressing the symptoms, not the causes, of school shootings.

Past banishment votes have apparently taken place under different circumstances.

In 2019, former Republican Congressman David Byrd faced pressure to be expelled after he faced charges of sexual misconduct when he was a high school basketball coach 30 years ago. . Republicans have refused to take any action, noting that he was re-elected when allegations surfaced.

Last year, the state Senate ousted Democrat Katrina Robinson after she was found guilty of using about $3,400 in federal aid to pay for a wedding instead of nursing school.

Before that incident, the last time a state legislator ousted a House member was in 2016, when the House voted 70-2 to remove Republican Jeremy Durham. After an attorney general’s investigation detailed allegations of inappropriate sexual contact with at least 22 of his women during his four-year tenure.

https://www.wfaa.com/article/news/politics/tennessee-republican-lawmakers-vote-expulsion-three-democrats-over-gun-protest-justin-pearson/522-20cd17db-c261-4948-ab6e-cea60435f2f1 Tennessee Republicans vote to ban Democrats who protest guns

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