Former President Barack Obama is being called up to participate in one of the most important tasks that a civilian can be summoned to perform: jury service. In fact, he will be a willing juror in court, according to reports.
After eight years as President, Obama will now take on a new job and will become an unbiased juror in a yet-to-be-unidentified case.
Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans told officials on Friday that Obama had been called up for the civilian service next month in Illinois, the state where he served as a Senator.
Obama, 56, is to go ahead with the duty, shrugging off fears about his public status, according to CNN affiliate WLS.
Sources told the news site that Evans had revealed the detail about Obama when discussing the importance of jury service in a public meeting on Friday. Obama could sit in on criminal cases or civil hearings.
“He [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,” Evans told the Chicago Tribune.
A spokesperson for Obama is yet to comment publicly on his participation.
The precise dates of the former President’s jury service will not be announced, nor will the location of the court, or the exact case, for security reasons. Even after leaving the Oval Office, former Presidents require significant security details.
“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.”
Many local United States politicians have undertaken jury service as have celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey. But Obama, a global figure, would likely be the most famous juror ever to serve in Illinois. Those who partake in jury service stand to earn up to $17.20 a day, a little less than the $400,000 per year the former President earned during his eight years in the White House.
Obama is eligible to vote in Chicago, still owns a property in the city’s Kenwood neighbourhood, and once served as a senior lecturer at the Chicago Law School before he was elected President. (Newsweek)