'Silenced': Expelled Tennessee Dem says GOP House Speaker 'runs the Capitol like it’s his private palace'

'Silenced': Expelled Tennessee Dem says GOP House Speaker 'runs the Capitol like it’s his private palace'
Image via Screengrab

Recently expelled Tennessee Democratic Rep. Justin Jones and Rep. Justin Pearson discussed during a Sunday Meet the Press interview the GOP House Speaker Cameron Sexton's strategy to silence the pair prior to their expulsion.

State Republican lawmakers ousted Jones and Pearson, who are both Black, from the House following their participation in a protest for gun reform following the recent Nashville Christian school mass shooting that left 6 people dead.

Democratic Rep. Gloria Johnson, who is white, joined the two in the protest, and was also up for expulsion — before lawmakers voted to allow her to keep her position.

READ MORE: Tennessee GOP lawmaker dismisses calls for stricter gun control despite Nashville school shooting

Meet the Press' Twitter account tweeted Sunday, "WATCH: Expelled Tenn. Democrat state Rep. @brotherjones_ discusses the House rules changes that led to his voting machine being turned off. 'The speaker ... runs the Capitol like it's his private palace.'"

During the interview, Chuck Todd noted Rep. Johnson mentioned during a separate interview the GOP "changed the rules since" asked Jones and Pearson joined the state legislature, before asking Jones to "explain the rules changes on expressing dissent on the House floor."

Jones replied, "They've limited debate to five minutes, but in reality — you ask one question, they'll spend five minutes answering it and then your time is up. You can't reclaim your time. Or the Speaker Cameron Sexton — and autocrat — will not even call on you and will cut off all debate."

The Fisk University graduate mentioned he and Pearson's voting machines were turned off when they supported the gun violence protest, which prevented the pair from voting on the House floor.

READ MORE: 'Gen Z don’t play': AOC says Tennessee’s 'fascism' is firing up young people

Regarding the GOPers refusal to hear what the Democratic lawmakers had to say, The Tennesseean reports Jones said, "I am able to speak because the people of my district sent me here. Speaker Sexton is not my constituent. Speaker Sexton is not a king. Speaker Sexton is not God, though he may want to be. I don’t know how many times the speaker has gaveled me out of order for simply doing my job as a representative."

During the Meet the Press interview, Jones emphasized, "There is no democracy in Tennessee. Tennessee is the most undemocratic state in the nation."

He continued, "Instead of responding to the grief and trauma of our community the House Speaker silenced us, even the day of our protest, and that's what led us to the well."

Watch the video below or at this link.

READ MORE: Kamala Harris visits Nashville to meet with 'Tennessee Three' after GOP expelled Black Dems

The Tennessean's full report is available at this link.

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