KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The Tennessee House of Representative’s motion to expel Knox County Representative Gloria Johnson failed on Thursday.
On Thursday, at the end of the House’s unfinished business, House Resolutions 63, 64 and 65, which would expel Representatives Justin Pearson (D-Memphis), Gloria Johnson (D-Knoxville) and Justin Jones (D-Nashville), were brought to the floor. These resolutions were based on the three representatives speaking on the House floor without permission one week ago.
At the time they occupied the well of the House, protests were happening in and around the Capitol about gun violence following the mass shooting at a Nashville school. While Johnson told WATE on Tuesday she knew what she was doing was against the rules, she did not regret her actions.
As the three representatives faced expulsion votes on Thursday, each was given 20 minutes for their opening statements, allowed to answer questions from other representatives, and given five more minutes for their closing arguments. Johnson was the second of the representatives who faced the expulsion vote. During her closing statement, she was surrounded by the Democratic Caucus.
Around 6:15 p.m. eastern, The house voted on resolution 64, which sought to expel Johnson, and failed by one vote with a vote of 65 ayes to 30 nays.
After House Speaker Cameron Sexton said the resolution failed, the gallery erupted with applause and began chanting Gloria’s name. Sexton swiftly bangled the gavel and told the gallery that they were out of order.
Before Johnson, the resolution against Jones passed, expelling him. He was also surrounded by the Democratic Caucus during his closing statements. During the hearing of the resolution, the debate on the floor was heated, with Rep. John Ray Clemmons asking “Is this a circus?”
The resolution against Pearson also passed, expelling him. From a video posted by WKRN’s Chris O’Brien, those who support Pearson were chanting “Shame of you!” after the vote.