KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — State Representative Gloria Johnson has retained an attorney who says Tennessee has bigger issues to deal with than someone speaking out of turn on the House floor.

Former Representative and attorney John Mark Windle confirmed to WATE that he is the attorney representing Johnson. The Knoxville Representative is facing potential expulsion alongside Representatives Justin Jones (Nashville) and Justin Pearson (Memphis).

Windle explained that the motion to expel the three representatives is scheduled by the House Clerk for Thursday as unfinished business and it is the very last item of the legislative session for the day based on his understanding. According to Windle, this has only happened three times since the Civil War.

Johnson told WATE that the reason the resolution for their expulsion was filed is because on Monday, she, Jones, and Pearson spoke on the house floor without permission for 20 seconds. Students, parents, and supporters gathered at the Tennessee Capitol to protest a week after six people were killed in a mass shooting at a Nashville school. Johnson said the three representatives went to the floor to recognize the people in the House gallery and let them know they cared about their issue.

Windle said that type of motion has been reserved for people who take bribes, commit sexual offenses, or for felons.

“To me, it’s an overreach, but I guess it’s going to be up to the members of the General Assembly and we’ll see what happens tomorrow,” Windle said. “The Constitution is clear and expulsion should be reserved for people who commit crimes and violate the public trust. The violation of a House rule should not trigger the overreach of expulsion. It’s never happened in the history of Tennessee, never for this type of infraction.”

From left: Reps. Justin Jones, Gloria Johnson, Justin Pearson

Johnson also spoke out about cases of former state lawmakers who were respectively accused of prescribing opioids to family members and sexual misconduct.

In helping Johnson, Windle adds that they will be acting to protect the rights of voters, not necessarily the rights of Johnson. If she is expelled, Windel pointed out that the 70,000 Knoxvillians that she represents would be left without a vote during a “critical time in Tennessee State Legislature.”

In explaining how Johnson is facing expulsion over breaking a house rule, Windle said, “It’s just East Tennessee common sense. This just ain’t right.”

If Johnson is expelled, Windle explained that there will be a special election and he is confident that she will be elected once again.

“Based on living in East Tennessee my whole life and in Knoxville my entire life, that Gloria Johnson will be elected by the folks in that part of Knoxville like she has been many times, and they’ve probably made Gloria stronger. The outpouring I’ve seen of support for her has been somewhat phenomenal” Windle said. “Again, people might not agree with her positions. I might not agree with some her political positions, but it’s really none of my business what her political positions are, because that’s an issue between her and the people who vote in her district.”