The Tennessee House voted Thursday to expel state Rep. Justin Jones (D), one of three Democrats alleged to have joined in with protesters who stormed the legislative chambers in a gun control protest last week.
On April 3 Tennessee House Speaker Cameron Sexton (R) tweeted, “We have always welcomed peaceful protestors to the capitol to have their voices heard on any issue.”
However, he suggested the actions allegedly undertaken by Rep. Jones, as well as Reps. Gloria Johnson (D) and Justin Pearson (D), “[broke] several rules of decorum and procedure on the House floor.” The Tennessean reported that Johnson, Jones, and Pearson allegedly used “a bullhorn” as they “led protestors in the galleries in several chants calling for gun reform.”
Cameron added, “Their actions and beliefs that they could be arrested on the House floor were an effort, unfortunately, to make themselves the victims.”
White House press secretary Karin Jean-Pierre weighed in the matter prior to the vote, calling it “shocking, undemocratic, and without precedent.”
CNN reported that the Tennessee House voted 75-25 Thursday to expel Jones from the House.
Votes to remove Reps. Johnson and Pearson are scheduled to follow later Thursday.
The Tennessean notes that the removal of Johnson, Jones, and Pearson actually marks the fourth time legislators have been expelled in Tennessee since the Civil War.
The first of three prior times was in 1866, the second in 1980, and the third in 2016.