State Rep. Justin Jones Files Lawsuit Against Speaker Cameron Sexton Claiming Violation of Constitutional Rights

A Democrat member of the Tennessee House of Representatives filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court in the District of Tennessee Nashville Division, claiming that House Speaker Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville) violated his constitutional rights when he was expelled from the General Assembly earlier this year.

“Today my attorneys filed a federal lawsuit to hold Tennessee House Speaker Cameron Sexton responsible for his unconstitutional and discriminatory actions. The people of District 52 deserve to have their voices heard without the threat of undemocratic silencing and retaliation,” said State Rep. Justin Jones (D-Nashville) on X, formerly known as Twitter, attaching a photo of the lawsuit.

“On April 6, 2023, the Tennessee House of Representatives (the “House”) illegally expelled Representative Jones for exercising his right to free speech,” the lawsuit alleges. “Representative Jones had attempted to speak in the House to protest the refusal of Tennessee lawmakers to address devastating gun violence.”

Days before, Jones and fellow State Reps. Justin Pearson (D-Memphis) and Gloria Johnson (D-Knoxville) led a riot in the Capitol gallery, which Tennessee State Troopers foiled after a physical altercation.

The riot stemmed from a gun control rally in response to a mass shooting at The Covenant School in Nashville, committed by Audrey Elizabeth Hale. Hale, who was killed by police on the scene, identified as transgender. A manifesto that Hale left behind is still being kept from the public.

“Time and again over the past year Defendants have blocked Representative Jones from expressing views on critical issues that he was elected to express, ensuring that viewpoints dissenting from their own are silenced, neither heard nor spoken,” the lawsuit says. “This censorship violates the constitutions of Tennessee and of the United States and is an anathema to a free, democratic society. By this action, Representative Jones seeks relief for these illegal and unconstitutional actions to silence his and other voices in the Tennessee Legislature, including injunctive relief to stop further violations of his rights to speak and to participate in the legislative process.”

Jones was temporarily reinstated to his seat by the Metropolitan Council of Nashville and Davidson County after his expulsion. He was later reelected to his position.

Ultimately, the 46-page lawsuit asks the court to declare Jones’ expulsion unconstitutional and that the “Permanent Rules of Order of the Tennessee House of Representatives, One Hundred Thirteenth General Assembly, First Extraordinary Session” are unconstitutional.

It also demands that Sexton “fully and immediately restore (including retroactively, where necessary) Representative Jones to the full rights and benefits of his elected office” and and asks that the court enjoins Sexton from “punishing or in any way preventing Representative Jones from speaking on the floor of the House or otherwise in his capacity as a duly elected member of the House of Representatives.”

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Pete D’Abrosca is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network. Follow Pete on X / Twitter.




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11 Thoughts to “State Rep. Justin Jones Files Lawsuit Against Speaker Cameron Sexton Claiming Violation of Constitutional Rights”

  1. Aldo Gargano

    Is this the same Justin Jones that was jumping on a Police car during the George Floyd riots in Nashville? The same Justin Jones that threw coffee at Senator Marsha Blackburn? Asking for a friend.

  2. Cannoneertwo

    Is “Cam” living in the District that elected him yet???

  3. FJB

    Counter-sue the Marxist POS!

  4. Joe Blow

    The next Obama in the making?

  5. SickofStupid

    This clown does not know the Tennessee Constution nor the US Constitution.
    What a pathetic little boy! Trying to blend in to the adult world. There are no special accomodations for people of color in the Legislature. Grow up or get out. You are in way over your head & don’t have a clue how to function in the adult world. Whoever is advising you is not your friend.
    As a taxpayer, I do not want to pay for your little boo boos. Learn from your mistakes, & when you grow up & act like a man, you will earn respect. Otherwise just shut up.

  6. Rocky Top

    Wasn’t he invited to the White House recently? I thought the Constitution made it clear that there was a seperation between State government and federal government.

  7. ColleenSanders

    The Senate floor is not the place for radical protesting by an inexperienced representative that does not follow the rules of decorum for government office. Frivolous lawsuit that needs to crash and burn.

  8. M. Flatt

    Censored graffito from the wall of the men’s room in one of the buildings at MTSU:
    “The difference between a black man and a [forbidden N-word] is the black man shuts up and does what needs to be done while the [latter] makes a racial case of everything.”

    Someone needs to tell Mr. Jones that he no longer has the privilege of protesting “The Man.” As an elected member of the State Legislature, he IS “The Man.”
    The only thing worse than this fool being in government is the mass of idiots that voted (and re-voted) him into office.

  9. Steve Allen

    Sounds like the pot is calling the kettle black, pun intended.

  10. Randy

    These three clowns demonstrate what is wrong with our government. Self interest is secondary to conducting the peoples business. The sacrifice of serving in public office does not require you give up your civil rights. It requires you to exercise them in a responsible way. You represent everyone, not yourself.

  11. levelheadedconservative

    Like Jones, this lawsuit should be thrown out.