On Monday, Tennessee Representative Justin Jones (D) distributed a letter to his colleagues in the Tennessee House announcing his intention to call a vote of no confidence in House Speaker Cameron Sexton (R). The first two issues highlighted in Jones' letter are Sexton "misrepresenting his residency and being unqualified to represent Tennessee's 25th State House District" and "defrauding Tennessee taxpayers" by accepting an excessive per diem reimbursement for his actual residence in Nashville.
I was in the House gallery Monday and one of the two hundred citizens forced to leave by the Speaker’s order. I was there for the so-called gun safety special session and witnessed the silencing of Representative Jones but had no idea of the darker reasoning for his silencing. Thank you for informing us.
You would have been proud to see the citizens shut down, dismissed, and removed from the gallery. Largely moms of school-aged children who have had enough of NRA-sponsored business as usual.
This isn’t over. We’ll be back at the regular session in January getting into good trouble.
Why didn't one of the other Democrats bring up the no confidence vote, rather than walk out? They should have in my opinion.
Wouldn't it be nice to see Speaker Sexton silenced for once and for all?
It’s disheartening to read your comments, but I understand your disbelief that this could be happening in America. The South has always been complicated. I am a fifth generation Tennessean, but I lived away from Nashville most of my life, returning to raise my kids. I’ve heard about state corruption for decades, but not until the Covenant School shooting did I wake up and pay attention. The mess here is a wake-up call to everyone, and Judd’s reporting as well as the NYT and CNN have helped to shine a spotlight on the cowards in our state government. Keep it up. We are good people. We are not idiots. But because of gerrymandering, we feel helpless. My US Rep used to be Jim Cooper but his district was redrawn to include counties South of Nashville that are way more conservative, so Andy Ogles represents the very blue district of Nashville. It’s what’s happening in the shadows that is frightening. It’s Smith & Wesson leaving the NE and settling into East TN to manufacture their semi-automatic rifles that frightens me. And it’s the great divide present everywhere and the lack of compassion toward grieving mothers and lack of listening to grieving Black mothers who have lost children to gun violence for decades and decades. That’s all for now.
Seems like it's time for a local DA or the DoJ to look into the Speaker, his residency, his racism and his continuous violation of the civil rights of Justin Jones.
You know what else is off-topic? My rear end. Cameron Sexton can go ahead and kiss it. The man is a liar and a thief and he doesn't deserve to represent his or any other district. He deserves no rest while he continues to hold and abuse his position.
I appreciate all of the information that Judd has brought into greater public awareness. However, there's more going on in the Tennessee State House than I think any of us can keep up with. I just looked up the local news as reported by newspaper, The Tennessean. I heard Rep. Pearson on Joy Reid's show (Mon. night?), and saw film footage of the law enforcement preventing people from gathering in the upper rotunda--reporters were told they could not gather. More action by the two Justin's and more blocking moves by Cameron Sexton seem to dominate. The Republicans have a firm majority. If this balance changes it would be as a result of the courage and intelligence of these two Justin's, Pearson and Jones.
Welcome to 1938 Germany.
This is outrageous!! Thanks for your reporting and helping to fight the good fight.
Speaker Sexton, and his enablers, all need to be expelled. It’s amazing how they can just vote to shut a Representative down who’s trying to abide by the actual rule of law.
Folks need to pay attention to Tennessee. This is how a Dictatorship works! People who follow the law, the Constitution, and try to keep our Democracy in tact, are silenced!
Expel Sexton and his followers. They are not fit for office!
It would be a pleasant surprise to see some of the established legal protections enforced for the citizens of Tennessee. Most of their politicians have been getting away with everything over many decades at their citizens expense. Healthcare, financial inequality, civil rights, injustice, economic opportunity, education inequities. There are specific reasons for all of these and at the heart lies their corrupt politicians...which by the way relates to most states in this country whose citizens are struggling to survive. Greed and the hunger for power and control are incredibly socially damaging behaviors.
As always, an electrifying report, Judd. Tennessee's predicament is something that should concern us all.
I've been looking at various stories in statehouses around the country in different ways since the RICO charges in Atlanta. It seems to me that Republicans have been running their states like organized crime syndicates. I think the public is starting to realize this. I also believe this way of doing business has the support of a lot of people, pretty much Republicans.
Th Tennessee republicans have become Bolsheviks, destroying legislative legitimacy in order to gain unlimited power. All driven by their fear of black people.
Sexton must think he’s the King of the Tennessee legislature.
Just like authoritarian King De Santis in Florida.
Who do these people help? No one.
They are so very fond of their own power and their total ignorance and disrespect towards the people, they cannot allow dissent.
Their racism is clear.
Once again the Republicans have outdone themselves in foolish adherence to ignorance and hate.
I wouldn’t even visit Tennessee and will encourage others to avoid pursuing their interest in any tourism in that State.
This is a tragedy when a few change the laws to cover their own illegal actions.
But i must remember, they are Republican lemmings.
Good article. Tennessee is a prime example of how the road to minority rule is being paved. Gerrymandering has contributed to this and 42 other state legislatures being GOP controlled. Youngkin is using a war chest of bucks in VA to gain full control of the General Assembly in Nov. so we will become # 44. The Democratic Party here still has it's head in the sand, which my Daddy said leaves your butt up in the air for a good A$$ kickin' after the McAullife travesty. Did that happen in TN?
Have to wonder though when you have a Marsha Blackburn in the US Senate that in a general statewide election it's the will of the Tennessee people. The voter, like in Texas and Florida, is the problem? Actually it is compounded by those who don't vote. The real travesty.