Highlights from the Week
On April 6, 2023, the Tennessee State House of Representatives voted to expel two of three members. The three members in question, Gloria Johnson, Justin Jones, and Justin J. Pearson, were accused of breaking the House’s rules of decorum by leading protests for gun reform in the wake of the mass shooting at the Covenant School in Nashville. Each member faced an expulsion vote, and only Representatives Jones and Pearson were expelled from the chamber, both on largely party-line votes. In the aftermath of the expulsion, the Nashville City Council voted on Monday, April 10, to re-appoint Representative Jones to the legislature, and the Memphis City Council voted to re-appoint Representative Pearson. Both seats will also have special elections to fill out the remainder of the expelled representative’s terms at a date to be determined. To learn more about the expulsion votes for these representatives click on their names to see a full vote breakdown for each representative: Gloria Johnson, Justin Jones, and Justin J. Pearson. To read a statement from President Joe Biden, click here. To read a statement from Representative Steve Cohen of Tennessee, who represents Memphis in Congress, click here. Lastly, to read a statement from Representative Yvette Clarke of New York, click here.
On April 7, 2023, U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk of Texas ordered a hold on federal approval of the drug mifepristone, which is used to end a pregnancy early. This hold on mifepristone, which was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2000 and used by millions of pregnant people, could severely limit access to the drug and has faced backlash from reproductive health advocates and support from traditionally pro-life groups such as March for Life. The same day, a judge in Washington State issued a counter-ruling that directed the agency to not make any changes in access to the drug. These competing rulings essentially leave access to mifepristone in limbo, and could mean that this issue escalates to the U.S. Supreme Court, either in this court term or the following term. To read a statement from President Joe Biden, click here. To read a statement from Vice President Kamala Harris on the ruling, click here. To read a statement from Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, click here. Lastly, to read a statement from Representative Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, click here.
On April 10, 2023, there was a mass shooting at the Old National Bank in Louisville, Kentucky. The shooter, a 25-year old former employee of the bank, killed six people (including himself) and injured nine others. There have been over 140 mass shootings this year, and led to more calls for federal legislation to ban assault weapons. To read a statement from President Joe Biden, click here. To read a statement from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, click here. To read a statement from Representative Morgan McGarvey, who represents the Louisville area, click here.
By the Elections Research team: Nick, Zachary, Seth, and Caleb, and Elections Interns Reid, Hunter, and George
Want to learn more about the candidates running for Mississippi’s State Legislature this year? You can see the full list here:
Want to learn more about the leadership in each state legislature? You can see the full leadership rosters here:
Want to learn more about which committees elected officials are a part of? You can see the full list of committees for each state here:
Want to learn more about some special elections happening in 2023? You can see the elections that have been held so far this year here:
By the Officials Research team: Noah, Johanan, Neal, Thomas, Israel, and Quinn and Officials Interns: Brittany, Caroline, and Morgen
Public Statements: 337 statements were added this week. See highlights from the week for notable statements.
States: 48 new votes were added.
Arkansas’ House passed HB 1407, which Establishes the Voter Registration and Secure Voter Records Act of 2023.
Georgia’s Senate passed SB 129, which requires employees get time off of work to vote early in-person or on election day.
New Jersey’s Senate passed S 2866, which requires reporting of campaign contributions over $200 and increase campaign contribution limits among other provisions.
Special Interest Groups (SIGs)
This year to date, the SIGs team has entered 8,740 ratings and 1,472 endorsements for candidates.