Does Your State Let Breastfeeding Moms Skip Jury Duty?

Posted by The Baby News

Michigan isn't the first state to say that breastfeeding your baby is more important than performing your civic duty - but the state's new law is raising eyebrows nevertheless.

A bill approved in Lansing, Michigan recently will exempt breastfeeding moms from jury duty so long as they provide a letter from a doctor, certified nurse-midwife or lactation consultant.  Twelve other states and Puerto Rico have similar laws in place. A family-friendly jury duty law failed to pass last year in Florida, where working mothers who breastfeed are required to perform jury duty, pumping in the public bathroom, according to a local report.

The law might sound like a no-brainer, but some legal experts claim that a law isn't needed for the exemption, since  many courts already grant exemptions for nursing mothers.  And some experts, including law professor Peter Henning, say that while exempting mothers makes sense, there are any number of groups that have similar claims for being exempted from jury service.  Where do you draw the line?

Henning says he can probably think of half a dozen equally good excuses and asks, Do we really need a law for just this group?

So, what do you think?  Would you like to see this type of legislation passed in your state?



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