In his 25-year career as a legal flamethrower and a professor, John
III has elevated the lawsuit into something of a collegiate sport.
With his George Washington University law students - known as Banzhaf's
Bandits - at his side, he has taken on the high and mighty, as well as the
mundane. His Washington group has tackled -the tobacco industry, and
restaurants requiring men, but not women, to wear jackets. Their earthy
slogan, ''Sue the Bastards,'' is best summarized in Banzhaf's license
plate: ''SUE BAS.''
Because of a letter Banzhaf wrote to the Federal Communications Commission
in 1966, you can't watch cigarette ads on TV.
He has also successfully instigated probes of former Attorney General
Meese III, ex-Vice President Spiro Agnew and ex-President Nixon; two
all-male private clubs in Washington admitted women after he raised a fuss.
''The common thread is high government officials facing allegations
misconduct and appearing to get off,'' Banzhaf says. ''No one should be
above the law - not liberal Democrats or conservative Republicans.''
A native New Yorker, Banzhaf, 49, once had a promising career in computers.
He claims the first [copyright] ever for a computer program.