Justin Jones Reinstated to Tennessee’s House of Representatives After Unanimous Council Vote

State Rep. Justin Jones of Nashville speaks outside the Capitol on April 10, 2023 in Nashville, Tennessee

"I want to welcome democracy back to the people's house," Justin Jones said in a speech.

After being one of the two Black Democrats expelled from Tennessee’s state Legislature last week, Justin Jones has been reinstated by the Nashville Metropolitan Council.

At a Monday council meeting, 36 members of the council unanimously voted to temporarily appoint Jones back to his seat in the House. 

Jones and Justin Pearson were removed from Tennessee’s House of Representatives last week after the Republican supermajority deemed their participation in a gun reform protest to be against the House’s rules for behavior.

The council had suspended its customs to enable a speedy conclusion rather than holding a month-long nomination phase, according to NBC News.

Jones was sworn in on the steps of the state Capitol less than an hour later, CBS News reported.

"I want to welcome democracy back to the people's House," Jones said in a speech on the House floor, NBC News reported. "I want to thank you all, not for what you did, but for awakening the people of this state, particularly the young people. Thank you for reminding us that the struggle for justice is fought and won in every generation."

On Wednesday, the Shelby County Board of Commissioners in Memphis is scheduled to decide whether to reinstate Pearson, who was also expelled last week, into the state’s House.

In the upcoming months, Jones and Pearson will both have the chance to re-run for their respective seats, and both have said they are seeking to do so.

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