The once-ousted legislator Justin Jones has sued over his expulsion, claiming it was an “unconstitutional” form of censorship. Shown at left is Nashville Councilwoman Zulfat Suara and at right is Rep. Gloria Johnson, (D-Knoxville). Johnson is running for U. S. Senate to take the seat of Sen. Marsha Blackburn.

By Erin McCullough

NASHVILLE, TN (WKRN) — Nashville Rep. Justin Jones has sued the Speaker of the Tennessee House of Representatives for “unconstitutional” censorship of him and the views of those he represents.

The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, seeks declaratory judgment that the House’s expulsion earlier this year was unconstitutional, that the House Rules for the 113th General Assembly are also unconstitutional, and that he be immediately and retroactively restored to all of his previous committee assignments, as well as any damages he may be entitled to, according to the complaint.

“Time and again over the past year defendants have blocked Rep. 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,” Jones’ complaint reads. “This censorship violates the constitutions of Tennessee and of the United States and is an anathema to a free, democratic society.”