State Rep. Collier (R-Mt. Vernon) will intro bill to excuse moms from jury duty

Although I’ve asked for and received jury duty exemptions because of childcare duties, it’s not clear to me how forthcoming legislation would enhance the current system. Translation: I need to hear more about how exemptions are being denied and therefore might need some legal oomph.

According to this Cincinnati Enquirer article, the exemptions that State Rep. Thom Collier would seek include nursing mothers and:

• Parents of children under 13.

• Parents of home-schooled children.

• People over the age of 75.

• Those caring for disabled and elderly family members.

• Others with religious beliefs that conflict with jury-duty service.

As noted, I’ve been excused from jury duty, county and federal court, at least three or four times over the last few years because of my primary caretaker obligations. Here are my questions (not critique, just what isn’t clear to me):

*What would the savings be by having such an exemption in the law explicitly?
*What are the stats on how often moms ask for the exemption and don’t get it?
*Under the proposed law, women would still get the ask, and still have to file for the exemption, right? So what would be different – are we saying that it would be automatic?

The anecdotal evidence of hardship in the article is helpful, but the article doesn’t indicate whether the mom was first denied an exemption because of primary caretaker obligations. I’d like to know if she asked for the exemption and it was denied, because I think if the requests, as I made, were being denied routinely, then that is an issue that needs to be addressed. But first, I’d want to know: how often is the exemption being asked for, and how often is it being denied, for all the circumstances seeking exemption.

According to the article, 10 other states already have exemptions for some of these circumstances and similar initiatives are pending in Maine, Michigan and New Mexico.

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