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John Yoo Comes To My Rescue In The June Primary

I’ve been resisting using Ricochet as a platform for my attempt to get paid for a job I’ve been doing consistently for the past 3 years as a volunteer, but the cat’s out of the bag. My name is on the ballot for Judge of the L.A. County Superior Court in the June 5 primary. This was a project I was planning for a while with Breitbart. We were going to have a blast with it. When that loss of losses happened, I went to my other guy who pledged to help, Shepard Fairey, to see if he was still game to make me a poster. It had been two years since he graciously offered to do it for me if I ran for Judge. He remembered the conversation and said, “sure, I’ll do it.” So I did it.

Since Andrew was gone, I decided to run a quiet campaign. It’s been fun. I’ve found some crazy stuff about how judges are elected in California. Some of it is quite disappointing, but I’ll post about that later. For now, I just want to thank John Yoo, one of my all time heroes, for coming to my defense in a public controversy about my ballot designation in The Atlantic article posted today. Adam Freedman and K. Douglas Lee also provided ammunition.

The controversy? I asked to be called “Volunteer Temporary Judge” because that’s the best way to describe myself to the voters, and you only get three words. My opponent calls himself “Gang Homicide Prosecutor” which isn’t really a job. He’s a Deputy D.A., but OK, I’m alright with a public servant like that getting the perk of spicing up his title.  But why punish me for trying to call myself what I really am? The mere asking  to be called a VTJ has got me suspended from the program altogether, and of course the ballot name was rejected.

I call this crap a prior restraint on political speech without a compelling government interest. The good people involved in the controversy here are afraid to call it anything. They just keep fabricating reasons why I’ve been benched from the bench. If only I could get my priests to find reasons why I can’t  teach catechism anymore or work in the food program, it would really free up my weeks to make some money for once.

Election Day is Tuesday. It will be fascinating to see how this all shakes out. Why did Shepard Fairey make me a poster as his candidate follow-up to his Obama triumph? Politically, we don’t see eye to eye (he says), but he’s a great guy, a saint in my case perhaps as his one design has financed the entire campaign, and he knows a historical candidate when he sees one.

Here’s the Canon I violated: Constitutional?:

(9)(a) A temporary judge appointed under rule 2.810 of the California

Rules of Court, from the time of appointment and continuing indefinitely after the termination of the appointment, shall not use his or her title or service as a temporary judge as a description of the lawyer’s current or former principal profession, vocation, or occupation on a ballot designation for judicial or other elected office, in an advertisement about the lawyer’s law firm or business, or on a letterhead, business card, or other document that is distributed to the public identifying the lawyer or the lawyer’s law firm.

  1. Paul Erickson

    In the private sector there are often conditions about what you can say or do after you leave a job.  My father was a Presbyterian minister (Aaugh!  I have just outed myself as a PK!) and he told me there are all kinds of restrictions about calling a pastor who served as an interim pastor before.  This has to do with “fairness” (a favorite conservative topic, I know) to other candidates.

    I can’t say if the restriction you cite is constitutional (I could write everything I know of constitutional law in this comment, copy/paste it 4 times and still be under the 200 word limit.)  But it does not seem unfair.

    Like Wylee, I do not live in California, and I did not die in Chicago.  So I’m sorry I cannot vote for you, either.

  2. Mike Visser

    Hitler Bad, Escalante Good

  3. Jan-Michael Rives

    Of course it’s unconstitutional! Whether the Supreme Court will care what the constitution actually says is another matter. My guess is that the SC would overturn the restriction on identification on the ballot, but continue to allow restrictions on self-promotion by officers of the court for commercial purposes. SCOTUS generally loves democracy, but thinks commerce is icky. As with so many other things, the SC has made a hash of the issue of free speech by government employees. It would all depend on whether California could convince the court that your self-promotion somehow demeans the justice system.

    EDIT: Forgetting the “un” in the word “unconstitutional” really changes its meaning…

  4. Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    Wylee Coyote:

    Shepard Fairey always struck me as a poltroon, but if he’s doing this for you he can’t be all bad. 

    Guy may be a poltroon, but he knows his craft.

  5. Indaba

    When’s the movie showing? The poster makes it look like a good show. This is by the artist who did the Obama poster which was very eye catching.

  6. Instugator

    “Someone asked me today if I would strike down Roe Vs. Wade,” Escalante says. “I said if it comes up in Traffic Court, it’s going down.”

    Heh, best line of the week!

  7. Sisyphus

    The “canon” is plainly unconstitutional, not to mention silly. The enforcement of same is a worse crime than the “crime” being deterred. The books are full of those.

    Knock’em dead Joe.

  8. DocJay

    I have no insight in to your horrific legal transgressions but that poster is the bomb. You’re bringing sexy back.

  9. Joe Escalante
    C

    Thanks DocJay. Once I saw what he did with the poster, which he crafted from a simple snapshot taken of me in front of the flag at the American Legion Post in Hollywood, I thought to myself, “I win.”

    DocJay: I have no insight in to your horrific legal transgressions but that poster is the bomb. You’re bringing sexy back. · 17 minutes ago

  10. Wylee Coyote

    Can’t vote for you ’cause I’m not a Californian, but I bought a shirt.  Good luck!

    Shepard Fairey always struck me as a poltroon, but if he’s doing this for you he can’t be all bad.

  11. Grendel

    IMHO, it’s a fair cop, and completely constitutional.  You knew that was a condition when you volunteered, right?  And you aren’t really pleading the incorporation doctrine business, are you?

  12. Dramman

    Frankly, my mind is just wheeling to come up with a hypothetical on how Roe v. Wade could come up in a traffic case…”Sorry ma’am, you agreed to have him drunkenly park 15 minutes too long in your loading and unloading zone.”…”Judge issues injunction on Planned Parenthood’s ‘Therapeutic Taxi’”…

  13. Joe Escalante
    C

    If I make it to the general election. This will be my new slogan. Thanks.

    Mike Visser: Hitler Bad, Escalante Good · Jun 2 at 4:23am

    220px-The_Vandals_-_Hitler_Bad-_Vandals_Good_cover.jpg

  14. Joe Escalante
    C

    Thanks Sisyphus. I agree. I understand what they’re trying to prevent but it’s embarrassing that they think it is worth trashing the constitution over. It’s not precious, it’s just a ballot designation.  File this under no good deed goes unpunished.

    Sisyphus: The “canon” is plainly unconstitutional, not to mention silly. The enforcement of same is a worse crime than the “crime” being deterred. The books are full of those.

    Knock’em dead Joe. · Jun 2 at 9:18am

    Edited on Jun 2 at 9:20am

  15. Joe Escalante
    C

    He’s  a guerilla artist in Los Angeles. His politics are as expected. In fact, one could say that they could be no other way. But he didn’t just put politics aside and help me. He’s taking actual heat for doing it. He’s quite principled.

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake

    Wylee Coyote:

    Shepard Fairey always struck me as a poltroon, but if he’s doing this for you he can’t be all bad. 

    Guy may be a poltroon, but he knows his craft. · Jun 2 at 4:42am

  16. Joe Escalante
    C

    You are confusing it with a condition of employment, which it is not.

    Grendel: IMHO, it’s a fair cop, and completely constitutional.  You knew that was a condition when you volunteered, right?  And you aren’t really pleading the incorporation doctrine business, are you? · 10 hours ago

  17. Joe Escalante
    C

    You are confusing it with a condition of employment, which it is not.

    Grendel: IMHO, it’s a fair cop, and completely constitutional.  You knew that was a condition when you volunteered, right?  And you aren’t really pleading the incorporation doctrine business, are you? · 10 hours ago

  18. Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    Joe Escalante: He’s  a guerilla artist in Los Angeles. His politics are as expected. In fact, one could say that they could be no other way. But he didn’t just put politics aside and help me. He’s taking actual heat for doing it. He’s quite principled.

    Good to know.

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