April 6, 2023

ACS Condemns the Expulsion of Tennessee Legislators

Nancy Rodriguez, media@acslaw.org

Washington, DC -- On Thursday, the GOP-controlled Tennessee House of Representatives voted to expel Representatives Justin Jones and Justin Pearson for a breach of decorum after they protested in support of gun violence prevention reforms on the floor of the Tennessee House. American Constitution Society (ACS) President Russ Feingold released the following statement in response to the expulsions:

"ACS is appalled by and condemns the unjust expulsion of Reps. Jones and Pearson by the Tennessee House’s GOP majority. The claim that these expulsions are about decorum was a poor and obvious fig leaf from the start. The farce was made even more clear during today’s proceedings, which saw House rules broken and debate cut off with no repercussions for those in the majority.  Reps. Jones and Pearson are being penalized not because of decorum, but for their opinion in support of gun violence prevention reforms and for voicing that opinion aloud on the floor of the legislature. It is also impossible to ignore the GOP majority’s specific targeting of two young, Black legislators for this unjust, outrageous treatment. The GOP majority’s expulsion of these legislators is a gross, discriminatory, and dangerous abuse of power and an assault on democracy. It also sends a chilling message to other legislators about the consequences of expressing opinions at odds with the majority.”


The American Constitution Society is a 501(c)3 non-profit, non-partisan legal organization. Through a diverse nationwide network of progressive lawyers, law students, judges, scholars, advocates, and many others, our mission is to support and advocate for laws and legal systems that strengthen our democratic legitimacy, uphold the rule of law, and redress the founding failures of our Constitution and enduring inequities in our laws in pursuit of realized equality. For more information, visit us at www.acslaw.org or on Twitter @acslaw.