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Joe Biden dismissed quickly from jury duty

Vice President Joe Biden reports for jury duty in Delaware but is dismissed, along with the rest of the jury pool, without being called to serve on a trial.

January 24, 2011|By Michael A. Memoli, Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON Ã?Â? Vice President Joe Biden breezed in and out of a Delaware courthouse Monday after being called for jury duty.

The vice president's office announced Monday morning that Biden would "participate in the standard jury selection process" in the Superior Court of Delaware "in his capacity as a private citizen." A White House aide said he was dismissed, along with the rest of his jury pool, at about noon without being called to serve on a trial.

According to the Wilmington News Journal, if Biden had been seated on a jury, it would have been for a misdemeanor trial, which typically lasts one or two days. Of course, Biden has another duty Tuesday night, attending the State of the Union address in Washington.

"I don't consider myself different than any other person," Biden told the newspaper. "This is important. ... It is an honor to be a part of the system."

Biden added that he hoped President Obama would serve in Chicago if he was called. In fact, Obama was called to serve on a Cook County jury last year, but he declined the obligation because, coincidentally, it fell two days before his first State of the Union address.

Had Biden been forced to miss the speech Tuesday, Sen. Dan Inouye of Hawaii would have taken his seat on the speaker's rostrum in his capacity as the Senate president.

Other jurors said Biden was collegial as he sat with others at the New Castle County Courthouse, joking about whether they might mispronounce his name during the roll call.

"He was basically treated the same like everybody else in here. Except he had some protection," Samuel Artumus told the News Journal, referring to Biden's Secret Service detail.

mmemoli@tribune.com

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