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Last Updated: Saturday, 3 December 2005, 01:29 GMT
Bush asks for jury service delay
US President George Bush
George Bush says he wants to serve as a juror - just not on Monday
A judge in the US state of Texas has agreed to allow President George W Bush to postpone jury service - on the grounds he is busy running the country.

Mr Bush was listed as number 286 on a list of 600 prospective jurors called to appear at a court on Monday.

When it found out a summons had been sent to his Texas ranch, the White House told the judge Mr Bush wanted to fulfill his duty but needed a delay.

His 2004 presidential election rival John Kerry served on a jury last month.

'Other commitments'

The White House said it had not received the jury summons for Mr Bush but had learned about it from local media reports.

"We have since called the court to inform them that the president has other commitments on Monday and that he would like to reschedule his jury duty," spokesman Scott McClellan said.

"Jury duty is an important civic responsibility and it's important people do serve."

Judge Ralph Strother agreed and has now sent a list of six alternative dates over the next six months, to which the White House has yet to respond.

The judge has already said he will not be sending out a sheriff to "bring the president in", should he fail to turn up at McLennan County court.

"It seems to me that the president has plenty of things to occupy his attention," he told the Waco Tribune Herald newspaper.

"Jury duty is a very important civic function, but running the country, I think, especially in wartime, takes priority over jury service."

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