Legal Experts endorse Family Friendly Jury Duty Legislation
 

 
  Back to the HOME PAGE

Table of Endorsements

 


Elizabeth N. Baldwin, Esq.
, was considered one of the nation’s leading experts on Breastfeeding and the Law. She was the Director of the Legal Associates Program for La Leche League International. She died in March 2003 after an extended illness.



“Breastfeeding mothers can have a very difficult situation if called for jury duty. If the mother cannot breastfeed her baby regularly, her breasts may become engorged, which could result in embarrassing stains on her shirt if her milk begins to leak, or worse, the mother could end of with a breast infection with fever and chills, resulting in bed rest and medication.
However, what about the parent who is not breastfeeding, but is at home with their child? Many bottle fed children are not accustomed to separations from their primary caretaker. An at-home mom who is not breastfeeding may be very distressed if called for jury duty. The baby may not be able to handle the separation from the mother, or the mother may not have adequate child care available.
Florida's exemption of all parents at home with a child under the age of six protects all parents, and is a preferred approach.”

“A Look at Enacting Breastfeeding Legislation” , by Elizabeth N. Baldwin, Esq., Director of the Legal Associates Program for La Leche League International, April 4, 1999
 

 
 


Ken McDermott,
Legislative assistant to Oregon Sen. Charles Starr R-Hillsboro, who sponsored a successful bill allowing a person to be excused from jury duty if they are the sole caregiver of a child.

...Ken McDermott...said that (Oregon) state law allows a judge or court clerk to excuse a person from jury duty if the person can show it would cause undue hardship or extreme inconvenience to the person or the person’s family or employer.

“It puts too much discretion in the hands of the judge,” McDermott said. “We don’t want to interfere in the judicial process, but we have constituents who are in a real bind and have concerns about serving on a jury when they have young children at home".
“Nursing mother wins excuse from Jury Duty” by Holly Danks, The Portland Oregonian, April 19, 1999
 

 
 


Vicky Saker Woeste

Is a Senior Research Fellow for a prominent national legal research institute.

“I completely agree that it’s not reasonable to separate full-time caregiving parents from their children for jury duty.”

Correspondence to Family Friendly Jury Duty website, dated 22 Feb., 2005