AG: Legislators Can Expel Lawmaker But Not Advisable

Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery is advising legislators that expelling a lawmaker for conduct that took place before entering office is inadvisable but also not prohibited, the Tennessean reports. The opinion comes in response to a House request on whether lawmakers could expel Rep. David Byrd from office over decades-old sexual assault allegations. "Historical practice, sound policy considerations, and constitutional restraints counsel against, but do not absolutely prohibit, the exercise of the legislature’s expulsion power to oust a member for conduct that occurred before he was elected and that was known to the member’s constituents when they elected him," Slatery wrote in the opinion issued Tuesday.

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