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Tennessee statehouse kicks Democrats out for anti-gun demonstration

How the Tennessee GOPs decision to fire two Democrats might affect other states

Why its important According to experts its becoming more and more typical for politicians from the dominant party to penalize members of the minority party with differing political stances particularly when such members rebel against the law.

Driving the news: State Reps. Justin Jones and Justin Pearson were ousted from their positions in a GOP-led vote on Thursday the first such partisan expulsion in Tennessees modern history as protesters thronged the state Capitol and other members delivered vehement objections in defense of democracy on the House floor.

Between the lines: Racist accusations followed the voting on Thursday. Jones and Pearson are both Black. Johnson is racial.

According to Paulson the attempt to remove the three Democrats “dramatically lowers the threshold for expelling members” and “appears to be retaliation by the legislature for being criticized.” Imagine if it occurred in legislative bodies across the nation.

Notable: The ousted members may reapply for their former positions.

The broader picture: Republicans have criticized the historic indictment of former President Trump but they have also censured Democratic colleagues in state legislatures for political behavior according to the AP.

In the meanwhile the new House GOP majority has exacerbated political tensions in the U.S. House over the removal of committee assignments.

What to see: According to Oppenheimer a critical question is whether Thursdays verdict would “make it easier” for the ruling party in either Congress or a state legislature to “punish members of the minority party who are attempting to draw attention to an issue.”

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