US Vice President Kamala Harris met on Friday in the state of Tennessee with two Democratic lawmakers, expelled on Thursday from the Legislative by his fellow Republicans, after participating in a protest at the state Capitol calling for tougher access to guns.
According to a tweet from her spokeswoman, Kirsten Allen, Harris met with ousted lawmakers Justin Jones and Justin Pearson, and Rep. Gloria Johnson, who surprisingly survived the vote, now known as the tennessee three. Later, he met with the local Democratic caucus.
The three legislators participated in the protest, after the recent shooting at a school in Nashvillein which three adults and three 9-year-old students died.
During the protest, the three Democratic legislators approached, positioned themselves in the center of the House with a megaphone and took part in the chants, thus violating the legislature’s rules of decorum, according to the Republican majority. However, the extreme punishment of expulsion has rarely been used in the past and only for more serious transgressions.
Republican leaders argued that it was necessary to oust lawmakers to avoid setting a precedent that disrupting House proceedings would be tolerated.
The ousted legislators, Jones and Pearson, are African-American men. The third legislator, Johnson, is a white woman who in the past was a teacher and was shot at her school. Republican leaders have denied that race was a factor in determining the expulsions.
[Con información de Reuters y AP]