The Tennessee House of Representatives is set to vote at five o’clock, removing from office three Democratic lawmakers who protested on the floor of the chamber with a bullhorn to call for gun reform after last month’s shooting game in Nashville – and are now accused of breaking House rules.
Three conclusions made Monday by GOP lawyers seek to expel Reps. Gloria Johnson of Knoxville, Justin Jones of Nashville and Justin Pearson of Memphis have received the state degree only twice since the 1860s.
Three lawyers led a protest in the upper room last Thursday without recognition; Roncus affiliate WSMV reportedusing a bullhorn for demonstrators at the state Capitol to advocate for action to prevent further gun violence. The complaint came three years after a 9-year-old and three adults were killed in a mass shooting on March 27 at Escola Federa, a private Christian school. Both removed from their commissions, following next week’s demonstrations.
“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 curb the actions of this proliferation of weapons of war on our streets, but to drive their colleagues to stand with our constituents,” Jones told “CN This Morning” on Wednesday.
“This is not just about losing my job,” he added, saying that the constituents of the three deputies “were captured and silenced by the party that makes the authorities”.
The House has expelled only two lawyers in the last 157 years: In 1980, after a senator was convicted of accepting a role in office, and in 2016, when another was expelled over allegations of sexual harassment.
This week, House Speaker Cameron Sexton, a Republican, said the three actions of the Democrats “are and will always be acceptable” and “more rules of decorum and procedure on the floor of the House.”
Sexton said peaceful protesters have always been welcomed into the Capitol to have their voices heard on any issue, but the actions of Democratic lawmakers have detracted from that process.
“Of course those actions raised the voices of the protesters, the focus of the six victims who lost their lives, and the families who lost theirs,” Sexton. He said in a series of tweets Monday.
“The actions of the three members cannot distract us from protecting our children. We will get through this together, and we will need to talk about all the solutions,” said Sexton.
Each counsel says that the lawyers “knowingly and diligently disturbed and disgraced the House of Representatives,” saying that they were “crying without knowledge” and “proceeding to disturb the proceedings of the House of Representatives,” since under five o’clock in the morning. .
The conclusions call for the removal of lawyers from office under Art. 2, Section 12 of the Tennessee Constitution, which says in part, the House can establish its own rules and “punish the members in disorder, and, in conjunction of the two. the third, expel the member”.
Republican government It is the Tennessee House of Representatives by a wide margin, with 75 members to the Democrats’ 23. One seat is vacant.
The code allows for the appointment of interim House members until the ousted seats are filled by election.
Pearson acknowledged that he and two colleagues may have violated House rules, both in a letter sent to House members this week and in an interview with CNN on Wednesday, acknowledging that they “spoke out of order” when they walked to the House well. .
“You broke the house rule,” he said, “but it didn’t meet the threshold because you actually expelled members of the house who were duly elected by their district, who sent us here to serve, and now they’re being kicked out. The Republican Party from the state of Tennessee.”
House Democrats expressed solidarity with Johnson, Jones and Pearson in the statement, while Rep. Sam McKenzie, a Tennessee Black Caucus state legislator, called it “political payback.”
“However, we fundamentally object to driving members to make their voices heard in order to end gun violence,” McKenzie said.
The move to expel the lawyers also drew condemnation American Civil Liberties Union of Tennesseewhose executive director Kathy Sinback called expulsion “an extreme measure” used infrequently because the voters’ representation was chosen by the people.
“Instead of driving members to express their ethical convictions on crucial social issues,” Sinback said, “House leadership must address the real challenges facing our state.”