Nashville Council to Restore Ousted State Lawmaker: What You Need to Know

by Gabriel Martinez
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On Monday in Nashville, Tennessee, some officials are about to vote on bringing back one of the two Black Democratic politicians who were kicked out by their Republican counterparts because they had protested against gun violence after there was a terrible shooting at school. To put it another way, if the vote succeeds, they’ll be sending him back following a long weekend away.

The people in Nashville are holding a meeting to fill the seat that used to belong to Justin Jones. A lot of them want him back in the state house. They will have their vote while other lawmakers have their first floor sessions since they voted against Jones last week.

Additionally, Justin Pearson who was kicked out from Memphis might get a second chance at their Wednesday County Commission meeting.

In the upcoming months, two members of the House will have special elections to try and get their seats back. Jones and Pearson both want their positions again, so they’ve said they’ll participate in these elections. After that, it’s difficult to figure out how other Members of the House would respond if they returned. The Speaker of the House has shared that those running for reappointment must go through the process.

Something new is happening in Tennessee. Jones and Pearson, two politicians from there, were kicked out of their jobs, causing the whole state to be part of a bigger fight about American politics. Famous people such as President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris showed their support for Jones and Pearson by talking with them and even visiting them in Nashville.

Another Democrat, Rep. Gloria Johnson from Knoxville was close to getting expelled but was saved by a single vote. The Republicans who voted in her favor gave the reason that she had less involvement in the protest compared to other Democrats—i.e., she didn’t speak on the loudspeaker or megaphone.

After a school shooting in Nashville killed six people, including children and adults working at the school, some protesting lawmakers asked Republicans to do something about gun control. Johnson suggested that it was because of their skin color that Jones and Pearson were removed but not her.

Republican party leaders said that putting a lawmaker in timeout had nothing to do with their skin color, but was necessary to stop people from causing disruptions during House meetings by protesting. This punishment has only been used a few times since the time of the Civil War.

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