D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton introduced a bill Thursday that would exempt breastfeeding mothers from jury duty in the federal and the federally controlled local court in the District at their request.
“Breastfeeding has many well-documented benefits for infants,” she said. “Mandating that nursing mothers perform jury duty could deter breastfeeding and has negative impacts on infants, families, and healthy communities. This bill furthers my successful efforts to encourage breastfeeding — my bill to require federal facilities to provide lactation spaces was signed into law in 2019.”
The Home Rule Act, which governs the District’s governmental and political structure, prohibits the D.C. Council from enacting laws related to Title 11, which deals with jury service.
Due to that limitation, Norton said “this bill is necessary to provide this exclusion for both the federal and D.C. courts.”
Through the bill, she said she seeks to bring District courts in concert with existing federal policy on encouraging breastfeeding.