Jury duty: it comes for us all. Even when you’re the former President of the United States. Yep — Barack Obama has reportedly been called for jury duty in Cook County, Illinois. And according to The Chicago Tribune, he fully intends to serve. So that means Obama will suffer along for hours of jury selection alongside your everyday American citizens. (Hey, even Taylor Swift reported for jury duty last year.)
“He made it crystal-clear to me through his representative that he would carry out his public duty as a citizen and resident of this community,” Chief Judge Tim Evans told the Tribune.
Luckily, the court will compensate Obama for his services at a rate of $17.20 per day. That’s the usual rate for Cook County jurors. “Although it’s not a place where the public can earn a lot of money, it is highly appreciated,” Evans continued. “It’s crucial that our society get the benefit of that kind of commitment.”
Obama was actually called for jury duty during his presidency in 2010.
But we’ll admit he had a pretty rock-solid excuse for why he couldn’t make it — he had to deliver the State of the Union address. Really puts your reasons for avoiding jury duty in perspective, huh?
Even though we know it happens, it’s always kind of jarring when famous people show up to jury duty.
Like we said, last year Taylor Swift showed up for duty in Nashville. She surprised many fans who thought they were getting a standard jury duty date. However, Swift wasn’t selected. A judge ruled she couldn’t be impartial, due in part to her own case against a fan who allegedly groped her at a meet-and-greet.
Details are being kept tightly under wraps. We don’t know the exact date or the location of the courthouse, but the Tribune reported that Obama will serve sometime next month. They also said that Cook County will do everything they can to accommodate his security team.
Of course, we don’t know if Obama will be asked to actually serve on a jury. There are so many reasons jurors don’t make the cut, and his high profile status could work against him. Either way, he’ll at least experience a few hours of stale jury duty coffee and awkward small talk. Gotta love our civic duties.