A wild two weeks in Tennessee culminates with reinstatement of expelled lawmakers
Rep. Justin Jones, D-Nashville, walks from the Metro Nashville Courthouse to the Tennessee Capitol for his swearing-in ceremony on April 12, 2023. Jones was reappointed by the Metro Council less than a week after being expelled for taking part in a gun safety rally. Metro Councilmember Zulfat Suara is holding Jones’s left arm. (Photo: John Partipilo)
Days after Democratic Reps. Justin Jones of Nashville and Justin Pearson of Memphis were expelled from the House of Representatives for leading a protest for safe gun laws, both men were reinstated to their seats: Jones was reappointed by the Metro Nashville Council on Monday, walking from the Historic Nashville Courthouse to the Tennessee Capitol, where he was sworn in for the second time since January.
Similarly, Pearson won reappointment from the Shelby County Commission on Wednesday, although four Republican members failed to attend the meeting. Pearson was sworn in on Thursday, accompanied by his parents and supporters, and returned to the House.
The reinstatements capped a wild two weeks in the Legislature that began after six people, including three children, were killed by a shooter on March 27 at Covenant School in Nashville. Crowds of protesters, many students, have descended on the Capitol and have packed the House chambers to advocate for gun safety.
Photojournalist John Partipilo has documented the events, including both reinstatements.
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