President Barack Obama has been called for jury duty in Chicago’s Cook County, and if chosen, he intends to serve.
Obama owns homes in Washington, D.C. and Chicago’s Kenwood neighborhood, but he’s registered to vote in Chicago. Speaking to county commissioners during a budget hearing on Friday, Cook County Chief Judge Tim Evans said that Obama will serve in November, and keeping him safe will be a priority.
“Obviously we will make certain that he has all the accouterments that accompany a former president,” Evans said. “His safety will be uppermost in our minds.”
Other famous Chicago residents, including Oprah Winfrey and Mr. T, have served on Cook County juries. Politicians, including governors and mayors, have served as well, but Obama might be the first former president.
However, according to a report in The Hill, Obama is “unlikely to be selected” to actually sit on a jury, despite his reported willingness to serve.
Obama was summoned for jury duty prior to this, in late 2009. However, he had a good excuse to get out of it — he was otherwise engaged meeting with an Iraqi president and delivering the State of the Union.
Jurors can be put either in the pool for criminal case or civil hearings and can be called to any one of the county’s Chicago or suburban courthouses. It’s not known which courthouse Obama has been summoned to ― nor the exact date.
All jurors in Cook County are required to watch a decades-old video about their duties narrated by Lester Holt, once a local news reader and now anchor of NBC Nightly News. Jurors are paid $17.20 for each day of service.