New Jersey GOP Lawmakers Defied COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate

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A number of New Jersey Republican lawmakers defied a new policy to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or negative test in order to enter the Assembly chamber in New Jersey Statehouse.

Some state Assembly Republicans refused to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or negative test result required by a new policy effective Dec. 2 and were denied access to the Assembly chamber, reported New Jersey Globe.

They were stopped by uniformed troopers for about 10 minutes before they eventually entered without showing any vaccination proof or a negative test, reported The Associated Press.

Hours later, a state appellate court ruled to put on hold the vaccination or test mandate order and to set up a potential hearing date for later this month thus handing a victory to Republicans who challenged the vaccination policy, according to The Associated Press.

The day before, Senate and Assembly GOP lawmakers filed a lawsuit at a state superior court to block enforcement of the policy that restricted access to New Jersey legislature based on COVID-19 vaccination status for both the public and legislators, according to a statement.

The measure was enacted in the form of a resolution at the end of October by the State Capitol management commission—comprising four legislative staff and four staff from the governor’s office—despite objections from Republicans.

The resolution required all persons who attend all gatherings and meetings in state capital buildings to show either proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 or the negative result of a COVID-19 PCR test performed within the last 72 hours.

State Senate Republicans showed their vaccination or test proof when entering the Senate chamber despite objecting to the policy, according to New Jersey Globe.

New Jersey Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean said on Thursday in a statement that the resolution limits “public access to the State House in a manner that’s discriminatory and violates clear constitutional protections afforded to legislators when performing official duties on behalf of their constituents.”

By Ella Kietlinska

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