NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Days after a week of huge protests at the Tennessee State Capitol, more are coming Monday night.
“The people’s House now has the people on the outside looking in,” one protester said Thursday night.
Over the last ten days, thousands have descended upon the legislature, both to protest gun control and the expulsion of beleaguered former representatives Justin Jones and Justin Pearson.
“You do not use the House floor to protest,” Speaker of the House Cameron Sexton (R—Crossville) said after the expulsions. “There are rules, there are policies, there are procedures that we all abide by.”
Sexton, along with other top Republicans, justified the move, saying you can’t break the rules without punishment.
“If their community elects them and elects them to come back into here, that’s fine,” House Majority Leader William Lamberth (R—Portland) said. “I hope, at least, that the message has been sent that we have rules that allow for everyone to be heard here.”
Though Democrats pushed back, arguing the punishment didn’t fit the crime.
“The immediate response of my colleagues is not to pass an assault weapons ban or red flag laws, but it’s to expel their colleague, who’s demanding that we act,” Jones said after his expulsion.
Monday evening, Nashville’s Metro Council voted to reappoint Jones into the legislature.
Monday evening is also expected to see yet another protest, as people are pushing for Sexton to seat Jones immediately if he is reappointed.
When WKRN News 2 asked his office if they planned on reappointing the two expelled reps at all once the county commissioners vote for them, they provided the following statement:
‘The two governing bodies will make the decision as to who they want to appoint to these seats. Those two individuals will be seated as representatives as the Constitution requires.’