Biden Slams 'Unprecedented' Expulsion Of 'Disorderly' Democrats From Tennessee House

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by Tyler Durden
Friday, Apr 07, 2023 - 02:41 PM

President Biden on Thursday took aim at Tennessee Republicans after the state House voted to expel two Democratic lawmakers who participated in a chaotic gun control protest at the state Capitol.

Reps. Justin Jones, right, Justin Pearson, bottom, and Gloria Johnson, left, bring a megaphone onto the Tennessee House floor on March 30, 2023. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Earlier in the day, the GOP-controlled body voted to expel Reps. Justin Jones and Justin Pearson for "disorderly behavior," after they stormed the Capitol building with protesters following the shooting by a transgender gunman at a Nashville private Christian school, leaving three staff members and three 9-year-old children dead.

The expulsion vote against Jones, D-Nashville, was 72-25, and 69-26 against Pearson, D-Memphis. It needed 66 votes it pass.

A third Democrat, Rep. Gloria Johnson, was almost expelled by a vote of 65-30 for her role in the demonstration.

The trio is accused of violating the House rules of decorum when they took over the speaking podium to lead chants with a crowd protesting the lack of action by lawmakers on gun violence after six were killed — including three children — in a mass shooting at a religious school in Nashville. -Tennessee Lookout

Following the gun control protest, the Republican majority immediately stripped the three Democrats of their committee assignments before voting to expel them - calling the move necessary to avoid setting a precedent that lawmakers can freely disrupt House proceedings.

"I want to make sure everybody knows this has nothing to do about the protest outside the House chamber or the protests outside the Capitol," said Tennessee House Speaker Cameron Sexton in a statement to Fox News ahead of the vote. "This is about these three members' actions on the House floor, how they shut us down, and how they led protests from the House chamber to those [people] in the balcony."

"Without Precedent" according to Biden

"Today’s expulsion of lawmakers who engaged in peaceful protest is shocking, undemocratic, and without precedent," said Biden. "Rather than debating the merits of the issue, these Republican lawmakers have chosen to punish, silence, and expel duly-elected representatives of the people of Tennessee."

Biden called on state and federal lawmakers "to act on commonsense gun safety reforms," including a ban on "assault weapons with high capacity magazines," along with universal background checks, liability for gunmakers after mass shootings, and more.

The expelled Democrats called it an attack on democracy.

"We are losing our democracy. This is not normal. This is not OK," Pearson told reporters, adding that the three "broke a House rule because we're fighting for kids who are dying from gun violence and people in our communities who want to see an end to the proliferation of weaponry in our communities. And that leads to our expulsion? This is not democracy."

Guess we're not doing the 'dangerous rhetoric' thing anymore?