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Obama returns to Chicago only to find himself in court, but this time for jury duty

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Welcome to life as an ordinary citizen, Barack Obama.

The former President is headed to court next month as he has been called for jury duty in Chicago.

Cook County Chief Judge Tim Evans told county commissioners during a budget hearing on Friday that Obama will serve in November, the Chicago Tribune reported.

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The former president owns homes in Washington, D.C. and Chicago’s Kenwood neighborhood, though Evans did not specify which courthouse location or the date that Obama will report to next month.

“Obviously we will make certain that he has all the accouterments that accompany a former president,” Evans told the Tribune. “His safety will be uppermost in our minds.”

An Obama spokesman could not be reached by the publication for comment on Friday.

“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,” Evans added.

Other high-profile figures, like Oprah Winfrey and Mr. T, have also appeared for jury duty in Cook County where jurors can be summoned for civil or criminal pools , according to the Tribune.

“Although it’s not a place where the public can earn a lot of money, it is highly appreciated,” Evans told the Tribune. “It’s crucial that our society get the benefit of that kind of commitment.”

There was one time, however, when Obama could not serve as his “commitment” was elsewhere.

A jury summons was sent to Obama’s home on the South Side of Chicago in 2010 but the then-president had to decline because he was pre-booked with the State of the Union, according to The Washington Post. He is not, however, the first former president to be summoned to serve.

Both George W. Bush and Bill Clinton appeared for jury selection after leaving the White House, according to the Post.

Bush reported to the George Allen Dallas County Civil Court building in August 2015 where he sat through the selection process but was not chosen as a juror. He still ended up spending about three hours at the court and, much to the delight of fellow jury candidates, posed for photos before leaving.

Former president Bill Clinton also didn’t make the cut in jury selection for a March 2003 case in federal court in Manhattan, the Post reported. Obama’s vice president, Joe Biden was also not selected after being called for jury duty in Delaware in January 2011 while serving in his position in Washington, D.C.

If selected to serve as a juror in Cook County, Obama – like other jurors – will be paid $17.20 for each day of service.

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Frieda Powers

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