(Headline USA) The second of two insurrectionist Democrats expelled from the Republican-led Tennessee House will follow his colleague in a return to work on Thursday, a week after their ouster from the legislature propelled them into the national spotlight.
Leftists rallied around Reps. Justin Pearson and Justin Jones, trying to frame their disruption as a civil-rights struggle even though there was little question that the two bullhorn-wielding activists violated House rules in disrupting the legislative session to abet anti-gun rioters.
Tennessee: this has to be more than a moment. A movement is needed.
— Eric Holder (@EricHolder) April 13, 2023
On Monday, the Nashville Metropolitan Council took only a few minutes to unanimously restore Jones to office. He was quickly reinstated to his House seat the same day.
Pearson was easily reappointed to his position by Shelby County commissioners Wednesday, and delivered a performative speech like a fiery pastor to a throng of jubilant supporters outside in a churchlike celebration.
Justin Pearson is not a serious person.
— ALX 🇺🇸 (@alx) April 13, 2023
Meanwhile, Republican critics, including Fox News host Tucker Carlson were both perplexed and bemused that Pearson—formerly a clean-cut prep-school graduate who espoused centrist views—had grown out an afro hairstyle and refashioned himself as a modern-day Martin Luther King Jr.
Carlson accused the Bowdoin alumnus of cosplaying as a Baptist minister while likening his act to those of other disingenouous code-speakers—including Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and Alexandria Ocasio–Cortez.
Pearson’s and Jones’s re-appointments are interim and special elections for the seats will take place in the coming months. Both have said they plan to run.
Republican Gov. Bill Lee has avoided commenting on the lawmakers’ expulsion and instead said the controversy was an issue concerning the House.
Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press