(WKZO) -- Women nursing babies in the courtroom has been a local issue for West Michigan ever since a Van Buren County Judge chastised a woman in his court for nursing. Since, the incident has sparked protests from women’s rights groups across the nation.
In the past, state lawmakers had proposed that nursing moms get an automatic exemption from having to serve jury duty.
Rep. Kurt Heise proposed the exception last month and it cleared the State House. He believes it would be better for the mom's health and better for the court hearings which might have to be interrupted for scheduled nursings.
The Senate will take it up the bill in the new year. As it's written, breast feeding mother's jury duty would only be delayed to a future time, not cancelled.
Judicial experts say a "blanket" exception may be unconstitutional. Thirteen other states already have such a policy in place.