For those who don't want to participate in one of the most honored privileges of being an American citizen, there's a narrow list of excuses that can get you out of it.

But a proposed law moving through the New Jersey Legislature would make that list just a little bit longer.

Under a measure advanced by the Senate Judiciary Committee, nursing mothers would be exempt from jury duty in the Garden State.

"Under current law, nursing mothers are not explicitly exempted from jury duty, which can present a hardship to mothers who are nursing or expressing milk for their babies," the bill says.

The legislation would apply to moms who have a child who's one year of age or younger.

According to Chanelle Andrews, former president of the New Jersey Breastfeeding Coalition, nursing mothers have been wanting to see this change for a long time.

"There is a misunderstanding, essentially, about what it takes to care for an infant in those first couple of months," Andrews said.

Mothers are intimately familiar with their baby's feeding needs, and the baby is intimately familiar with mom for their needs, Andrews said. In many cases, mothers are exclusively feeding their children right from their breasts — they haven't yet introduced a bottle, or doing so has proven too difficult.

"This legislation acknowledges that infant feeding is much more complex than, just give your baby a bottle and leave them with someone else for the day," she said.

Even for nursing mothers of babies who are taking breast milk from a bottle, jury duty can get in the way of expressing breast milk for later use, Andrews said.

Jury duty excuses in New Jersey

The bill says it would take effect immediately when signed into law, applying to jurors who are impaneled on or after that date.

In order to be excused, jurors must complete a questionnaire online or through the mail.

Currently, according to the New Jersey Judiciary, you may request to be excused if you fall into one of the categories below. In most cases, you'll be asked to provide documentation.

⚫ You are 75 years of age or older.

⚫ You have served as a juror in the same county within the last three years.

⚫ You believe that you will suffer a severe financial hardship.

⚫ You have a medical inability to serve as a juror.

⚫ You care for a minor, or a sick, aged, or infirm dependent, and have no alternative care available without suffering severe financial hardship.

⚫ You provide highly specialized technical healthcare services for which a replacement cannot reasonably be obtained.

⚫ You are a healthcare worker directly involved in the care of a person with a mental or physical disability, and your continued presence is essential to the regular and personal treatment of that person.

⚫ You are full-time teacher of a grammar/high school during the school year for which a replacement cannot be reasonably obtained.

⚫ You are an active member of a volunteer fire department, fire patrol, first aid or rescue squad.

⚫ You are on active duty as a member of the United States military.

NJ towns with the highest STD rates in 2022

These towns had the highest rate of sexually transmitted infections per every 1,000 residents. The data was compiled by the state Department of Health for the year 2022, the most recent year for which statistics were available in February 2022. For some diseases, a zero appears because the state suppressed the data because it failed to meet a particular standard.

Gallery Credit: New Jersey 101.5

NJ fast food: If you don't have these apps, you're losing money

What's better than a free item at your favorite New Jersey fast or quick food spot? With so many loyalty programs, it can be tough to keep up, so we did the work for you.

Gallery Credit: Erin Vogt

More From WPG Talk Radio 95.5 FM