MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Some Shelby County Commissioners say they are pushing to reappoint ousted Democrat Justin J. Pearson back to the state House seat he held until Thursday.

County Commission Chairman Mickell Lowery says he hopes there will be a commission vote on Pearson’s appointment as early as next week.

“No one should be expelled for exercising their First Amendment right. It’s unfortunate,” Lowery said.

Reps. Pearson, of Memphis, and Justin Jones, of Nashville, were kicked out of the legislature on a resolution backed by Republicans for leading a gun control protest on the House floor last week.

Just hours after the Tennessee House of Representatives, which has a supermajority of Republicans, voted to expel the two House members, their photos and profiles were deleted from the Tennessee General Assembly website.

According to the expulsion resolutions, Jones, Pearson and Rep. Gloria Johnson of Knoxville, who wasn’t expelled, “began shouting without recognition” during their protest, and “proceeded to disrupt the proceedings.”

Pearson, who won a special election in January to fill a seat left vacant after the death of longtime Memphis Rep. Barbara Cooper, had only been sworn into office a few weeks ago.

Now the focus shifts to filling the two vacancies as local lawmakers in Jones’ and Pearson’s districts are working to determine their next steps.

“We are tasked for making an appointment to that seat. So, I’m polling the commissioners to make sure that we have a quorum and making sure we have a legal opinion about what we can do to make an appointment,” Lowery said.

The appointments could return the ousted representatives to the chamber.

“It definitely should be Representative Pearson, who was elected overwhelmingly by District 86 to be their voice, and we can’t take that away from the people. He was selected by the people and should be in that seat,” Lowery said.

Commissioner Charlie Caswell said Pearson and Jones should not have been expelled.

“It’s still unbelievable as I think about what happened you know. It was a complete circus, no due process in this case and blatant. What you’ve seen was racism at its best,” Caswell said.

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According to the state constitution, because there are more than 12 months until the next general election in November 2024, a special election will be held to fill the seats. Caswell said he’s ready to take action now.

“The only just thing to do is to send him (Pearson) back to represent because the people of District 86 right now have no representation. They took this route to get him out, but we have the opportunity to put him back in until the Governor announces a special election,” Caswell said.