Former President Barack Obama reported for jury duty in Chicago on Wednesday, but will not be tapped to serve on any jury.
Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans said Obama was dismissed after reporting for duty on Wednesday morning, the Chicago Tribune reports. Journalists, lawyers, and court staff tried to get a glimpse of the 44th president, and he autographed books for some other would-be jurors.
Reporters Steve Schmadeke and Elvia Malagon described the scene in the Tribune:
In Chicago, all eyes had been on Obama on Wednesday, from when he departed his South Side home in the Kenwood neighborhood to his 10 a.m. arrival at the downtown court complex. His motorcade parked in a secure garage underneath the Daley Center, a source said. Obama then took a private elevator used by judges to the 17th-floor jury assembly room, where a small crowd of photographers, reporters, court staff and attorneys pressed up against the doors hoping to catch a glimpse of the former president
"He’s gorgeous!" exclaimed court clerk Sonal Joshi, who briefly came upstairs and caught a glimpse of Obama before rushing back to her post on a lower floor of the building.
The report also described him as being a "hit in the jury assembly room" where he shook hands and interacted warmly with fellow Chicagoans before his panel was dismissed.
Past presidents have been summoned for jury duty and have tended to be dismissed. George W. Bush was not selected for a jury when he reported in 2015, but not before posing for photos with fellow Texans in a Dallas courthouse. Former President Bill Clinton reported to a federal court in New York in 2003 for a gang shooting case, but was eventually dismissed.
Fellow Chicagoan and high-profile Obama supporter Oprah Winfrey was selected for a Cook County jury in 2004 when she joined 11 other jurors in convicting a man of first-degree murder.