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Sarah Palin: No jury duty for June

Craig Medred

Celebrity politician Sarah Palin's stint as a prospective juror in Alaska appears to be over. The courthouse in Palmer had this recorded message Thursday:

"To all June petit jurors, your services will not be needed for the remainder of the month. On behalf of the Alaska Court System, I would like to thank you for your dedicated service this past month."

The former, half-term Alaska governor cut short a high-profile bus tour of the nation in early June, and then weeks later announced on Facebook that she'd done so because she was called to jury duty.

The Alaska courts have refused to confirm whether Palin was indeed called, saying the information is confidential; Palin apparently has a different view.

The former mayor of Wasilla, Palin would do her jury duty at the courthouse in nearby Palmer. There was a call for jurors there Tuesday, but Palin was that day in Iowa at the screening of a movie about her political life in Alaska. It is also possible she was called to serve on the Palmer grand jury, which is still meeting, but it appears to have also held meetings while she was gone.

Palin -- given her Facebook comment that she looked "forward to doing my part just like every other Alaskan" -- is unlikely to have chosen to miss any of those sessions. It is also conceivable that Palin was summoned to jury service by the U.S. District Court in Alaska, but it is far more liberal about who must report for that service. People can be excused from jury service, according to the federal court, "if you are the sole proprietor of a business."

Palin could easily make an argument she is the sole proprietor of "Sarah Palin Inc.," a money-making conglomerate active in books, videos, speaking engagements and national tours. She has yet to announce if, or when, she will resume the latter.

She has been silent about her "jury duty" since mid-month. She generally does not answer questions from the media, but did make a few comments in Iowa.

Contact Craig Medred at craig(at)alaskadispatch.com