Nashville council to vote on restoring expelled Tennessee lawmaker Rep. Justin Jones
Nashville, Tenn. — Officials in Nashville are set to vote Monday to reinstate one of two black Democratic lawmakers expelled by Republican allies for their gun control protests on the Tennessee House floor after a deadly school shooting — essentially , sending him back after a long weekend. .
Nashville’s Metro Council appointed former Rep. The meeting has been called to address the vacancy caused by the firing of Justin Jones on Thursday.
Many council members have publicly commented that they want to return Jones to the State House. The vote will come as state lawmakers hold their first floor session following last week’s expulsion vote.
Expelled Memphis Rep. Justin Pearson, meanwhile, could be reappointed at Wednesday’s meeting of the Shelby County Commission.
Special elections for the seats, which are yet to be decided, will be held in the coming months.
Jones and Pearson have said they seek re-election and plan to run in the special election.
At the Statehouse, meanwhile, it’s unclear how House Republicans will respond to seeing the lawmakers they kicked out immediately sent back.
House Speaker Cameron Sexton has said lawmakers will go through the process if or when they are reappointed.
The impeachment has made Tennessee a new front in the battle for the future of American democracy, while impeaching lawmakers thrust into the national spotlight.
Jones and Pearson have quickly attracted major supporters. President Joe Biden spoke with him and Vice President Kamala Harris visited him in Nashville.
A third Democrat targeted for impeachment, Knoxville Rep. Gloria Johnson, has also garnered national attention.
Johnson, who is white, was saved from impeachment by a one-vote margin.
Republican lawmakers justified splitting their votes by saying Johnson had a minor role in the demonstration — for example, he didn’t speak into a megaphone.
Protesting lawmakers had called on Republicans to pass some kind of gun control legislation after the Nashville school shooting that left six people dead, including three young children and three adults who worked at the school.
The shooter was killed by the police.
Johnson also suggested that race was likely a factor in why Jones and Pearson were kicked out but not him, telling reporters that it “might have to do with the color of our skin. is.”
GOP leaders have said the actions — used only a handful of times since the Civil War — had nothing to do with race, and instead were necessary to avoid setting a precedent that House action by opposition Disruption of Parliament will be tolerated.