Dec 2, 2021 - Politics & Policy

New Jersey GOP lawmakers defy statehouse COVID policy

Several Republican New Jersey Assembly lawmakers on Thursday broke a new rule requiring they show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test to enter the chamber and were temporarily blocked by state troopers, per NJ.com.

Why it matters: The move is part of a wider push by Republicans in several states and nationally against vaccine mandates. The N.J. GOP has filed a lawsuit against the rule by a panel appointed by Gov. Phil Murphy's (D) administration, and was granted a short stay by a state appellate court late Thursday, AP notes.

The big picture: Ahead of the court order for a possible Dec. 13 hearing date, the Republicans turned up at the New Jersey Statehouse in Trenton exclaiming "tyranny" as uniformed troopers unsuccessfully tried to stop them entering, according to NJ.com.

What they're saying: "This is about denying the minority their right to speak out against policies Phil Murphy and his minions in this house think that they want to shove down your throats, whether you like it or not," Assemblymember Erik Peterson said, per NJ.com.

The other side: Murphy on Monday called the GOP's lawsuit "reckless," AP reports.

  • A spokesperson for Murphy's office noted to NJ.com Thursday that lawmakers could still vote remotely.
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