Former GOP Senator Opposes Expelling Tennessee Dems
Republicans in the Tennessee state house who voted Thursday to expel from the legislature two Black Democrats (while narrowly failing to do the same to a white colleague) were in the wrong, former Republican senator Scott Brown said Sunday on CNN State of the Union.
Brown, who represented Massachusetts from 2010 to 2013 and went on to serve as Ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa during the Trump administration, urged the two sides to find “common ground” because “this is a very, very serious issue–what’s going on with gun violence around this country.”
Former Reps. Justin J. Pearson and Justin Jones, along with Rep. Gloria Johnson, had protested on the House floor late last month in the wake of the mass shooting at a Christian elementary school in Nashville that left three children and three adults dead. Pearson and Jones each used a bullhorn while behind the podium, a breach of decorum rules.
“You don’t go on the House floor and start banging and taking over,” Scott said before also criticizing Republicans’ overreaction. “Should you have expelled them? No. I disagree with that. I think there’s a way to find that common ground. Let them have their bully pulpit. You’ve raised them almost to martyr level now and obviously one is going to come back through the process.”
Both Pearson and Jones said on Meet the Press earlier in the day that they intend on running for their old positions.
Scott went on the argue that the ousting of the two Black men by a legislature in which the GOP holds a a supermajority will end up helping Democrats in the state. In fact, the GOP’s decision has certainly drawn added attention to the pair and the reason for their protest.
The reactions to the expulsion from Tennessee’s two Republican senators, Marsha Blackburn and Bill Hagerty, as well as Republican Gov. Bill Lee, have been hard to come by, however. None, for instance, have issued any comments about it on their official Twitter accounts as of Sunday afternoon.
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