US chief justice called for jury duty

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Even the head of the highest court in the land has to report for jury duty.

John Roberts, the chief justice of the US Supreme Court, showed up for jury duty Wednesday in a Maryland county court in the Washington suburbs, Supreme Court spokesman Kathy Arberg told AFP.

But after responding to several questions aimed at vetting potential jurors for a civil case, he was not selected.

Roberts, who has presided over the US Supreme Court for the past decade, certainly will have his share of important cases to decide in the coming weeks.

In late April, the court will hear potentially game-changing cases on gay marriage and the constitutionality of lethal injection.

In 2005, the 60-year-old Roberts was nominated to the Supreme Court by then-president George W. Bush.

While Roberts' confirmation was still pending, the sitting chief justice died, Bush changed the nomination, propelling Roberts to the top spot.

His vote is often crucial because the court's eight other justices are evenly divided among conservatives and liberals.