NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — He may have been expelled Thursday evening, but Justin Jones is back in the Tennessee House of Representatives.
The ousted legislator was reappointed to his former seat in the 52nd District in Nashville by the Metro Council Monday afternoon, two business days after he was officially expelled from the House for breaking decorum rules on the House floor March 30.
The Metro Council voted 36-0 to appoint Jones as the interim representative for the district.
Jones faced expulsion along with fellow Democrats Gloria Johnson of Knoxville and Justin Pearson of Memphis. Johnson survived the expulsion vote by one, but Pearson was ousted as well Thursday. The move was met with national criticism of Republican leaders in the state house, including House Speaker Cameron Sexton.
Shortly after the expulsion, Metro leaders were quick to announce their support for Jones and intentions to send him back to House. Vice Mayor Jim Shulman quickly announced a special called meeting to announce the vacancy, as required by law.
Just before Metro gaveled in to make its appointment, House Majority Leader William Lamberth (R—Portland), and Republican Caucus Chairman Jeremy Faison (R—Cosby), issued the following statement:
“Tennessee’s constitution provides a pathway back for expulsion. Should any expelled member be reappointed, we will welcome them. Like everyone else, they are expected to follow the rules of the House as well as state law.
Our state endured a horrific tragedy on March 27 that will never be forgotten. We continue to mourn the six lives lost as we pray for healing. We remain focused on solutions that ensure every child and parent feels safe in every community across the Volunteer state.“