State legislators across America endorse

Family Friendly Jury Duty  Page 1

(Last updated February 19, 2006)

California Assemblyman Ted Lempert

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California Assemblyman

Ted Lempert

“Yes jury duty is a vital civic duty, but we need more recognition for the needs of breastfeeding moms.  That trumps the need for more people to do jury duty.”

There is a lot of lip service given to kids, and to the importance of children in the early years, but when it comes to… legal protections, we have not really caught up with the rhetoric.  This is a small example, but a telling one.”

California Assemblyman Ted Lempert, (D-Palo Alto), From The San Francisco Chronicle, March 14, 2000, Sponsor of AB1814 which provides jury duty exemptions for breastfeeding mothers.  Signed into law August 31, 2000

Georgia State Representatives Walker, Martin, Murphy, Smith, Buck, and Benefield

Georgia Representatives:


Walker, Martin, Murphy, Smith, Buck, Benefield

Sponsors of HB 39, which amended Code Section 15-21-1 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to exemptions from jury duty, so as to provide for the exemption from jury duty of any person who is the primary caregiver having active care and custody of a child under 4 years of age. Signed into law May 1, 2000

Illinois Senator Margaret Smith

Illinois Senator Margaret Smith

“Mothers who are nursing or caring for infants and small children have been forced to serve on juries despite their family hardship.  They shouldn’t have to choose”.

…”Caretakers of the disabled and young children also face adversity when they seek last-minute sitters.  With the disabled, it’s often very difficult because a replacement caretaker has to have specialized skills.  Parents and guardians in these situations are not being treated fairly. 

...”This legislation forces the counties and the jury commission to look at the effect it would have on the person being cared for if the caregiver was forced out of the home to serve on jury duty.” 

Sen. Margaret Smith (D-Chicago), sponsor of Public Act 91-0264, which amended the jury act to allow excuse from jury duty for those who have the responsibility of caring for a child under 12 years.  The measure passed unanimously in both Houses, and  was signed into law on July 23, 1999.

“Bill could keep caretakers off juries”, by Shelia Washington, Chicago Defender, May 11, 1999

Kansas State Representative Clark Shultz

Kansas State Representative

Clark Shultz

When asked whether his 2 House Bills proposing excusal from jury duty for at-home parents of a child under 6 and breastfeeding mothers would deplete the jury pool, Rep. Shultz replied,

“If we had more parents with this much commitment to their children, the legislature and the court system would have far fewer issues to be concerned with each year.”

Representative Clark Shultz (R-District 73), Spring 2002


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The following state legislators have either:


·          Enacted family friendly jury duty legislation in their state, OR

·          Are currently sponsoring a family friendly jury duty bill in their state, OR

·          Have recently sponsored a family friendly jury duty bill in their state.

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