California state senator removed from floor during speech

(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A California state lawmaker was removed from the Senate floor after refusing to stop delivering a speech criticizing former Sen. Tom Hayden for his anti-war activism in Vietnam.

Democrats ordered the sergeant at arms to remove Republican Sen. Janet Nguyen of Fountain Valley on Thursday. Nguyen is a refugee from Vietnam and is highly critical of Hayden, who died recently and was honored on the Senate floor on Tuesday.

Nguyen stood and began her speech in Vietnamese before switching to English. Majority Leader Bill Monning of Carmel she was speaking out of order.

Her microphone was shut off, but she continued speaking as the presiding officer, Democratic Sen. Ricardo Lara, ordered that she stop. Lara eventually ordered that she be removed.

Republicans say they're enraged that Nguyen was silenced.

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