Harris to Meet in Nashville With Expelled Lawmakers

Vice president to speak at service for ousted Democrats
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 7, 2023 5:00 PM CDT
Harris to Meet in Nashville With Expelled Lawmakers
Vice President Kamala Harris arrives at Berry Field Air National Guard Base in Nashville on Friday.   (Andrew Nelles/The Tennessean via AP)

Vice President Kamala Harris traveled to Nashville on Friday in response to the removal of two Democratic lawmakers from the Tennessee legislature. She plans to meet with Justin Pearson and Justin Jones, who were expelled on a vote Thursday in the state House, where Republicans hold a supermajority, the Tennessean reports. She was scheduled to speak at a service at Fisk University for the legislators. Pearson arrived at the event to applause and cheers. "They thought they could expel democracy," he told the crowd, per USA Today. "But we're still here!"

Republicans said Thursday they acted because of the Democrats' role in a demonstration calling for gun-control legislation after six people were shot to death at a Nashville school. Harris called the House action "undemocratic and dangerous" in a tweet Friday morning. She plans to meet privately with Pearson, Jones, and Rep. Gloria Johnson, who kept her seat by a one-vote margin, a spokesperson said. And she intends to meet with young people demonstrating for gun restrictions. Harris "wants to make sure that these young people's voices are heard," a White House official said. Pearson and Jones are Black, while Johnson is white. House Republicans said race did not affect their decisions. Jones disagreed. "I basically had a member call me an uppity Negro," he said, per the Hill. (More Tennessee stories.)

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