Justin Pearson is Back in the Tennessee House

The second of two Black Democratic lawmakers expelled from the Tennessee House was reinstated in the same fashion — quickly and unanimously by the governing board in his district. 

On Wednesday, the Shelby County Board of Commissioners took minutes to reappoint Rep. Justin Pearson to his seat in the Legislature by unanimous vote, nearly a week after his expulsion by the Republican-controlled state House.

“The message for all the people in Nashville who decided to expel us: You can’t expel hope. You can’t expel justice,” Pearson said at the meeting, according to the Associated Press

”You can’t expel our voice. And you sure can’t expel our fight.”

Pearson and fellow Black lawmaker Justin Jones were ousted by members of the state House, where the Republican party has a supermajority. 

The controversial move ultimately served as political retaliation against Pearson, Jones and fellow Rep. Gloria Johnson. The three Democratic lawmakers joined demonstrators calling for gun reform just days after a mass shooting in Nashville claimed six lives, including three children.

Johnson, a white woman, was spared from expulsion by a single vote. The outcome sparked cries of racism against members of the state House — the two Black Reps were banished, but the white one was spared.

Now Pearson joins Rep. Jones back in the Legislature. 

Two days earlier, Jones was also unanimously reappointed to his House seat by the Nashville Metropolitan Council — a procedure that took minutes. 

Hundreds of supporters joined Jones the day he got reinstated.

And in the same fashion, a crowd of supporters joined Pearson as he marched through Memphis to the Shelby County Board of Commissioners meeting before the vote. 

Rep. Pearson’s official Twitter account documented the scene: 

About Post Author


From the Web

Skip to content