Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Locking down the borders and keeping out the evildoers.

Uh oh ... apparently, there's some heavy judiciatin' going down today:

U.S. Supreme Court hears Black appeal Tuesday

Conrad Black is taking his fight to the U.S. Supreme Court in a last-ditch appeal that, if successful, could grant him the vindication he has long dreamed of and cast doubt on a controversial law used to trap white-collar criminals.

The former media mogul, who gave up his Canadian citizenship to become a member of the British House of Lords, has been serving a 6½-year term at the federal prison in Coleman, Fla., for fraud and obstruction of justice. He will not be present at the hearing in Washington on Tuesday.

I await the thoughtful and nuanced position of Captain Canada Stephen Taylor, for whom even a whiff of legalistic impropriety on the part of non-citizens is enough for him opine, "HAHAHAHA! OMFG! LOL! ROTFLMAO!"

Or something like that.


Ti-Guy said...

I have a hunch he'll win his appeal.

Anonymous said...

dr roy will be happy

double nickel said...

The original prosecutor isn't too worried. Thankfully.

The Seer said...

So they've got three "honest services" fraud cases up there, two set for argument today — Lord Black & an Alaska state legislator who allegedly failed to disclose a conflict of interest — and one later, an Enwin case, involving the then largest bankruptcy in US history. When the US Supreme Court brings up more than one case on the same issue, it means to me they are fixing to draw some lines; i. e., point out one or two cases that don't amount to honest services fraud, and one or two that do, and explain why.

I'd say things are looking up for the Alaskan. Failure to disclose a conflict of interest seems to me to be a bridge too far. (Thin actus reus, real problems with mens rea.)

I'd say things are looking down for the Enwin guy. Enwin execs literally made million by getting people to invest in Enwin, telling people Enwin was making billions when it wasn't. We know they knew Enwin was virtually insolvent because they set up privately controlled partnerships with Enwin which they used to skim the profits off Enwin deals. Not to mention Enwin caused an energy crises in California — a jurisdiction with more people than Canada — by manipulating the wholesale price of electricity. The only thing the Enwin guy has going for him is that people lost even more money in the housing bubble.

Lord Black seems to me to fall in between. Black was convicted for what he did, not what he failed to do. It took some real sophistication to pull it off. OTOH, the actual fraud is not as clear as in Enwin, and the trail of bodies isn't anything like Enwin's. Lord Black's case is going to be the most interesting of the three.

The Seer said...

Lord Black had a good day yesterday. http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2009/12/supremes_could_weaken_key_anti-corruption_law_that.php?ref=fpblg