Tennesee Rep. Justin Jones Reinstated in House of Representatives

A unanimous vote at the hands of the Nashville Council Appointment gave Jones his seat back after aiding in pro-gun reform protests


Nicole Hester/The Tennessean

The “Tennessee Three” as they leave the building following Justin Jones and Justin Pearson’s expulsion

by Isabel Andjell, Staff Writer

On April 6, Tennessee Representatives Justin Jones and Justin Pearson became the first House members in state history to be ejected from office for a behavior violation.

A week prior, over a thousand peaceful protestors gathered at and inside the State Capitol calling for the restriction of gun control laws. They loudly confronted the representatives and stood in the galleries as the members of the House of Representatives went about their legislative duties. Gloria Johnson, along with Jones and Pearson, now known as the “Tennessee Three,” brought proceedings to a stop as they led the protestors in the galleries with chants demanding gun reform. They went up to the podium, without being recognized to speak, which violates the chamber’s rules of procedure. After heated debate, Jones and Pearson were expelled, while Johnson survived the expulsion by one vote. Pres. Joe Biden spoke with the three representatives and posted on Twitter saying the ejection was, “shocking, undemocratic, and without precedent.”

Four days later, Jones and his supporters marched from the Metro Nashville Courthouse to the Capitol steps. Before being reinstated, he said, “This is not about one person. It’s not about one position. It’s about a movement of people empowered to restore the soul of what this building should represent and that is democracy.”

The 27-year-old raised his fist after taking his oath and walked arm-in-arm with Gloria Johnson to reclaim his seat at the House session.