McCain cracks jokes on the way to jury duty

August 12, 2013

Reporting for jury dury on Monday, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) strolled up to Maricopa County Superior Court in Phoenix with coffee in hand and a smile on his face.

"Doing my civic duty for a change," McCain joked. "Going to see if we can't reinstitute law and order here in Maricopa County, which has been badly deteriorating. So we're out to get those criminals."

According to McCain, he's been called for duty several times but ultimately never picked for the trial. "It's part of our civic duty," he said, with a wink.

Though McCain was lucky enough to be called while Congress is in recess, politicians can be called for service even while lawmakers are in session. According to the New York Daily News, Joe Biden served in 2000 at New Castle County Courthouse in Delaware while still a senator and in 2010 was called to service as the vice president. He attended both, though in 2010, he was dismissed by midday.

The court lists "undue hardship, extreme inconvenience or public necessity" as acceptable excuses for missing jury duty. Though Biden, and other politicians, can likely be excused, Biden, like McCain, said it was "an honor to be part of the system" and that he hoped the president would serve in Chicago if he were called.

President Obama was actually called in January 2010 but did not attend. George W. Bush also postponed his appearance, and Bill Clinton was dismissed when he was called to a pool for a gang-related shooting.

Ruth Tam is a writer based in Washington, D.C. Follow her on Twitter: @ruthetam.
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