2 Tennessee Democrats Are Expelled From Office & 1 Is Spared: Was It All Worth It?

Apr 7, 2023 | Political News

Yesterday, after a nearly 11-hour session on the Tennessee state House Floor, two Democrats, Justin Jones and Justin Pearson were expelled from their seats as representatives of their districts, and only Gloria Johnson (D-D90-Knoxville) remained. 

The portion of the House Floor Session which occurred during the Unfinished Business began with a 7-minute video of the events of March 30th, when Jones, Johnson and Pearson made their way up to the Well at the front of the House Floor and began to lead the activists gathered in the gallery in chants in protest of gun violence and a call for stricter gun control laws in the state. 

Both Jones and Johnson were removed from their committee appointments by Tuesday. Pearson was not serving on any committees. 

Yesterday, after well over two hours of testimony from Jones, and questions and answers from members of the House Body, Justin Jones in a vote of 72 Ayes to 25 Nays was removed from his seat in the Tennessee State House of Representatives.

Next, was Gloria Johnson’s turn to be held accountable for the events that took place on March 30th. Johnson defended herself with arguments that were rooted in her experience in a school shooting several years before in her role as a teacher, as well as her careful distinction of the actions she is proven to have committed versus that of her colleagues.

Johnson was careful to point out that while she did move to the Well without being recognized, the resolution indicated that the actions for which she and her colleagues were being expelled were not those that were committed by herself, but only Jones and Pearson. After an emotional testimony and a very stringent question and answer session with Republicans in the house, a vote was taken and she was spared by just one vote in her favor, with the Ayes at 65, and the Nays at 30.