Obama Got Jury Duty & Where Do We Sign Up?
Barack Obama is no longer president, and he is now fully embracing all the joys of being a private citizen. Since leaving the Oval Office in January, the former president has been caught kitesurfing, hitting up a Broadway show, and rocking a backwards baseball cap like no other. One part of real-life he probably didn't bargain for? Obama got jury duty, as reported by the Chicago Tribune, and this is something I really, really wish I could see.
The former president will report for jury duty next month in Cook County, Illinois, according to the Chicago Tribune. It's a pretty big deal for Obama to be spending time solo, in a court room, with a bunch of unvetted civilians, and Chief Judge Tim Evans told the Tribune that they're taking it very seriously.
“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.” He added,
[Obama] 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.
Be still my heart. Of course he did. Can you imagine how many jury members are going to have to try really, really hard to be all blasé and ~whatever~ that they're sitting next to the former president?
Well, that, or everyone is going to be trying really, really hard to get at least one decent photo-op.
Just look at what happened when George Bush reported for jury duty back in 2015. The former president spent about three hours at the court house, and ultimately wasn't selected as a member of the juror. However, he did manage to fit in some quality bonding time/selfie sessions with his fellow jury members.
He wasn't the only former president to make a cameo appearance in court.
In 2003, Bill Clinton also served jury duty, though sadly selfies weren't really a thing at that point. The former president arrived for duty at a federal court in Manhattan, and was eventually dismissed.
Former Vice President Joe Biden performed his civic duty back in 2011, showing up at New Castle County Courthouse in Wilmington, Delaware. Biden arrived with a few secret service agents, and made a phone call to the President Obama during a break, The Daily Beast reported.
"I don't consider myself different than any other person," Biden said. "This is important... It is an honor to be a part of the system."
Big-name politicians aren't the only famous people you might get to mingle with while fulfilling your civic duty. In August 2016, the one and only Taylor Swift reported to a courthouse in Nashville, and probably brightened literally everyone's day by hanging with her fellow jury members, signing autographs, and taking lots and lots of selfies.
Madonna, aka the Queen of Pop and everything else, was also summoned for jury duty — probably managing to look impossibly chic and edgy despite bad lighting and unfortunate name tags.
Oh yeah, and while there's no photographic evidence, Anna Kendrick showed up for jury duty in 2015 and delightfully live-tweeted the whole thing.
One celebrity who probably won't ever be selected for an actual trial?
That would have to be Brad Pitt, who was allegedly deemed too distracting for everyone. The actor was summoned to an L.A. court in 2015 but ultimately dismissed from the selection pool.
"You just can't stick Brad Pitt in a jury box and expect 11 jurors to ignore him," L.A. attorney William Lively told MailOnline. "It's only natural that those jurors would be watching to see how Brad reacts to what's being said and that they could be influenced by his opinions once the jury goes behind closed doors to render a verdict."
So, basically, don't get too cranky the next time a jury duty notice in the mail. You could wind up getting a selfie with Obama. Or dating Brad Pitt. You never, ever know.