THE PUNK ROCKER WHO WOULD BE JUDGE
John Yoo isn't generally associated with icons of anti-authoritarianism.
But five days after a judge threw out a lawsuit that a convicted terrorist filed against Yoo for penning the George W. Bush administration's "torture memos," Yoo was on the phone, vouching for a punk rocker.
Or specifically, a punk rocker by the name of Joe Escalante, the Vandals bassist who's campaigning to be a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge but is running into legal problems.
Escalante, 49 of Signal Hill, Calif., a suburb of Los Angeles, is a member of the area's gracefully aging rocker sect answering what happens when punk grows up. Some of Escalante's peers went on to start record labels and families. Some cultivated new music careers in their 40s and 50s. Others got their Ph.D.s, fell into drugs, or became Subway sandwich artists. Escalante, though, ended up with seemingly the least punk-rock resume of all: a law degree, a legal expert job, a career in entertainment law, and conservative Catholic bona fides.
But he's managed, perhaps inadvertently, to keep the spirit alive by running for a judgeship with the express disapproval of the local legal establishment, facing down a lawsuit from a Hollywood publication, and generally saying the kinds of things in public that conservative J.D.s with political aspirations don't say.