June 7, 2023

Columbus Post

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Tennessee: Republicans expel two Democrats from the House of Representatives

US state of Tennessee

Republicans expelled two Democrats from the House of Representatives

Two members of the Tennessee House of Representatives have been fired for taking part in a demonstration at the statehouse calling for stricter gun laws.


Excluded: Justin Pearson (center) and Justin Jones, who have previously advocated for stricter gun laws. (April 6, 2023)

Getty Images via AFP/Seth Herald

  • Republicans in the Tennessee state House of Representatives ousted two Democrats.

  • They had earlier protested to demand stricter gun laws.

  • Two of the expelled MPs were black, while the third MP who was not expelled was white.

The Republican-led Tennessee House of Representatives has expelled two Democrats. Another member of Parliament who was supposed to be expelled also only survived Thursday’s vote. All three MPs attended a demonstration in Parliament last week demanding tougher gun laws. Their behavior has caused disruption and contempt for the House of Representatives, with The Tennessean newspaper calling for their impeachment in resolutions introduced by Republicans. Following the exclusion, citizens staged a loud protest at the Parliament building.

According to a report by the New York Times, Cameron Sexton, the Republican leader of the House of Representatives, compared the three MPs to those who attacked the Capitol in the US capital Washington on January 6. Two of the expelled MPs were black, while the third MP who was not expelled was white.

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Biden was shocked

US President Joe Biden took to Twitter on Thursday to describe the process as shocking, undemocratic and unprecedented. White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said the expelled lawmakers showed solidarity with children and families peacefully protesting tougher gun laws. In Tennessee and across the U.S., children have paid the price for Republican lawmakers resisting the passage of such legislation, Jean-Pierre said.

Former US President Barack Obama called what happened in the Tennessee House of Representatives an example of the “vast erosion of decency and democratic values”.

The protests, attended by lawmakers, come after an attack at a Nashville elementary school in late March killed three children and three adults. According to police reports, the suspected shooter was shot dead by police officers after the attack. It said that a 28-year-old girl was going to school alone. She was armed with at least two assault rifles and a handgun.