New Jersey Republican lawmakers defy vaccine mandate

New Jersey

New Jersey Assembly member Brian Bergen, left, stands with fellow GOP Assembly member Erik Peterson, right, who speaks and gestures toward New Jersey State troopers blocking GOP lawmakers from entering the Assembly chamber because they did not show proof of a COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test, Thursday Dec. 2, 2021, in Trenton, N.J. The lawmakers decried the mandate, saying it was unconstitutional, though the troopers ultimately let the some of the legislators who declined to show their documents enter the chamber. It’s unclear why. A message seeking an explanation was left with the state police. (AP Photo/Mike Catalini)

TRENTON, N.J. — Disorder and confusion erupted outside the New Jersey Assembly as Republican lawmakers defied a requirement to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test.

Ten lawmakers were blocked for several minutes by state troopers from entering the chamber.

Lawmakers compared the situation to something that might happen in a dictatorship. The standoff ended when troopers permitted some of the legislators to enter, although they hadn’t shown the required documents.

Troopers stationed at the doorway declined to provide an explanation.

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