Obama swaps White House for courthouse - but escapes jury duty
Former US president Barack Obama has been dismissed from jury duty.
The former president arrived at the Richard J Daley Centre in central Chicago for jury duty shortly after 10am yesterday.
By noon, Cook County chief judge Timothy Evans told reporters that Mr Obama would not be serving.
Mr Obama's appearance at the courthouse created quite a stir. He was photographed outside by people who heard on the news that he would be going to court.
In the courthouse lobby, people craned their necks for a glimpse of him and took mobile phone pictures.
Mr Evans said the former president shook hands with other would-be jurors inside the jury assembly room and signed copies of his books that some had taken with them to court.
Mr Obama was not the first former president to be called for jury duty. In 2015, former president George W Bush answered the jury duty call in Dallas. He was not selected to sit on a jury.
In 2003, Mr Bush's predecessor in the White House, Bill Clinton, reported for jury duty in federal court in New York City. He also was not selected.
Nor is Mr Obama the first famous Chicagoan to be called. In 2004, TV star Oprah Winfrey was on a Chicago jury that convicted a man of murder.
A decade later, actor Lawrence Tureaud, better known as Mr T, showed up to a suburban Chicago courthouse for jury duty, sporting his usual mohawk, but without the gold chains for which he is known. Mr T was not chosen to sit on a jury.