Commonwealth Policy Center

The Tennessee legislature expelled three of its members for fomenting mob-like behavior as gun control protestors converged on the Tennessee capitol last week. Democratic state representatives Gloria Johnson, Justin Jones, and Justin Pearson staged a demonstration on the House floor, used a bull horn, and led chants with protestors in the gallery. Jones got physical with a fellow lawmaker, and all three encouraged rowdy protesters in the balcony. Speaker of the House Cameron Sexton said their “hijack[ing] of the House floor… has never been done in our history.” Criticism is sure to follow, but lawmakers must respect the rules by which to shape public policy. And violating rules of civility and leading a mob mentality has consequences, as the three Tennessee legislators found out the hard way.