Tennessee House Democrats Walk Out in Protest: Over Republican Justin Jones’ Silencing Inbox

Tennessee House Democrats Walk Out in Protest: The TN House Dems walked out to protest a vote that silenced Rep. Justin Jones, one of the “TN Three.” The vote, 70 to 20, stated that Jones couldn’t speak for the rest of the session but could still vote. House Republicans called the special session after the shooting at the Covenant School in Nashville. While the Dems were away, House Republicans passed a bill allowing some teens to be sentenced as adults.

Jones veered off topic twice discussing bills, prompting House Speaker Cameron Sexton to intervene. This led to the punishing of Jones. This move led to people in the gallery yelling “racists” and “fascists” during a tense meeting. Cops were called to clear the gallery. Jones may lose voice for three days if there’s a second vote.Jones planned to present a letter at the session’s end, seeking a vote of no confidence against Speaker Sexton. Jones called it a step towards authoritarianism. Our Dem group was united. We left because it was fake inside.

Last week, House Republicans passed controversial rules for new punishments for “decorum” issues on the floor. House Minority Leader Karen Camper told Sexton, “It’s up to you to decide what is and isn’t out of order.” Democrats claim the new rules grant House Republicans, with a supermajority, the authority to determine what is out of order.During the session, Dems asked Jones to clarify his inappropriate remarks. A lawmaker asked for Jones’ statement, but Sexton said it wasn’t necessary under the new rules.

Tennessee House Democrats Walk Out in Protest

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Democrats leaving due to Tennessee lawmakers’ inability to agree on ideas. The meeting was called due to the killing at the Covenant School in Nashville, which resulted in multiple deaths. Protesters and families expressed dissatisfaction with the legislative process, claiming it failed to address gun crime in Tennessee sufficiently.

House Republicans passed Sexton’s House Bill 7073, allowing some teens to be sentenced as adults in criminal courts, while Democrats were absent. Criminal justice supporters claimed the bill would hinder efforts to assist young people in their transition to stability.Before voting to punish Jones, the House passed bills on mental health funding and gun locks despite Democrats’ concerns about their effectiveness in addressing gun crime. Rep. Pearson said, “No moral victories in passing ineffective laws for child safety.”The vote on discipline and subsequent walkout have sparked outrage, questioning the fairness and democracy of Tennessee’s legislative process.