Tennessee lawmakers reappoint Rep. Justin Pearson after expulsion

Rep. Pearson was expelled, along with Rep. Jones, following a protest on gun control after The Covenant School shooting.
Posted at 3:39 PM, Apr 12, 2023

After being expelled from the legislature, Justin Pearson is set to return.

The Memphis Democrat found his way back to his seat after the Shelby County Commission reappointed him on Wednesday.

House Democrats told NewsChannel 5 they expect the proper paperwork to be transported to Nashville in order to swear in Pearson Thursday morning before the 9 a.m. House floor session. Pearson was one of two members expelled last Thursday after creating a disruption on the House floor to stand up for gun reform after The Covenant School shooting. Rep. Justin Jones has already made his return to the capitol.

State Rep. Justin Jones, D-Nashville

Nashville lawmakers vote to reappoint Justin Jones after expulsion

Lawmakers in Tennessee's House of Representatives voted Monday to reappoint Justin Jones after he was expelled following a protest on gun control.


Jones, D-Nashville, and Rep. Gloria Johnson, D-Knoxville, were stripped of House committees Monday. Pearson had just been seated and had no committee assignments. Additionally, the trio had their ID badges to get into the legislature turned off.

No damage was done to the Tennessee capitol nor were there any arrests made on the day that Jones, Pearson and Johnson led the crowd from the House floor in the middle of the session with chants.

Rep. Gloria Johnson with former Reps. Justin Jones and Justin Pearson.

State Rep. Gloria Johnson: Race played a role in colleagues' expulsion

The Tennessee state representative tells Scripps News the expulsion is "an assault on democracy."


Rep. Jones had a bullhorn. On that day, hundreds arrived at the capitol to try to talk to lawmakers about gun legislation in light of The Covenant School shooting. In the mass shooting, six people — including three 9-year-olds — died at the hand of a 28-year-old Nashville resident.

This story was originally published by Scripps News Nashville.