Expelled Tennessee Rep. Justin Jones Sues House Speaker for Alleged Rights Violations

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Earlier this year marked the controversial eviction of Tennessee state representative, Justin Jones, from his formerly held seat. In an unexpected turn of events, Jones has recently initiated a federal lawsuit against House Speaker Cameron Sexton and several other House officials. The suit claims that Jones’ constitutionally-instated rights have endured undue violation in a series of occasions, as clearly laid out within the official court documentation.

Jones’ allegations resonate in the hallowed halls of the Middle District of Tennessee, where his lawsuit has been filed. He alleges consistent, intentional efforts by the defendants have suppressed his ability to freely express his opinions on pertinent societal issues. This alleged treatment, he asserts, is a blatant aberration of his state and federal constitutional rights.

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In an effort to seek justice, Jones is pursuing a court order to restrain the Speaker from barring him from expressing his thoughts on the House floor. His suit further seeks to restore his committee positions and to declare his removal by expunging it from record as an unconstitutional act.

The state House’s chief clerk, the chief sergeant at arms, as well as the assistant chief clerk, and the parliamentarian also find themselves under scrutiny as co-defendants of the case.

Jones, representing the interests of District 52, contends that their opinions deserve to be heard without fears of unjustifiable silencing or retaliatory measures. His statements echo his commitment to democratic tenets of dialogue and representation.

Cameron Sexton’s office remains silent, despite attempts by the media to gauge an official response to these allegations.

Jones’ turbulent year began in April when his seat, representing the Nashville-area District 52, was taken from him. Following the unspeakable tragedy of a shooting at a private Christian school, Jones, and his fellow Democrats Justin Pearson and Gloria Johnson, advocated for gun reform during an official House protest. The violence took the lives of three children and three adults at the Covenant School.

In response, the GOP supermajority voted for expulsion, citing decorum breaches. Pearson also lost his seat, while Johnson faced a similar vote, but was not removed.

Quickly though, Jones and Pearson regained their seats via a special election following the expulsion. However, further clashes ensued in August when Jones was declared out of order by Sexton twice in one debate, triggering an automatic vote to silence Jones for the day. The vote, split predictably along party lines, incited a walk-out by the Democrats in protest.