Democracy won, as the Nashville Metro Council voted to give expelled Tennessee state Rep. Justin Jones his job back and Jones returned to the House floor to applause and cheers.
The Tennessee House Republican super majority tried to stifle the voices of dissent who are calling for gun safety legislation by ignoring the will of the people and expelling Reps. Justin Jones and Justin Pearson.
After the Nashville Metro Council voted to return Justin Jones to the legislature, he returned to the House to cheers.
Tennessee Republicans thought that they could make an example out of Justin Jones. The Republicans believed that by expelling two African-American representatives, they could silence the voices of thousands of young people who showed up at the capital demanding change after the Nashville school shooting.
The MAGA-style power play was destined to backfire because democracy is more powerful than any legislative supermajority.
Every un-democratic body has run into the same obstacle. People want to be free. The voice of the people is more enduring than political constructs. Tennessee Republicans thought that they had won when they expelled Jones and Pearson, but it was a defeat masked in the scent of entitlement and victory.
What happened to the Tennessee 3 can happen to any elected representative in the country if we lose our democratic principles.
Tennessee is a victory, but also a warning that American democracy is under threat and the fight is far from over.
Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association