The selection for today is an image from Chapter 39 of Blogging Enron: The Enron Broadband Story by Cara Ellison. The chapter is titled "The ObamaCare Decision and Enron -- The Court of Appeals Screws Up Again." A screen shot of the image on the Learnist board is included in the banner above this post.
This "Today's Learning" selection from Learnist is a follow-up to the two earlier picks by Learnist of Chapter 37 of Blogging Enron, titled "Rex Shelby Files Amicus Brief in Support of Scott Yeager," and Chapter 38 of the book, titled "Scott Yeager Wins At Supreme Court!". Those two earlier picks are described on this blog in the posts,"'Today's Learning' from Learnist" and "'Today's Learning' from Learnist -- A Supreme Court Win".
The appeals process was a critical element in the Enron Broadband case and in most of the other Enron-related cases. Various court decisions delivered as a result of Enron-related appeals have contributed a great deal to defendants in other cases who have used the rulings in their own battles against federal prosecutors. Ironically, it was the over-reaching and abuse of federal prosecutors in the Enron cases that motivated the appellant decisions which went against the prosecutors.
Indeed, the appellant record of the federal prosecutors and the prosecution-leaning Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in the Enron cases was so dismal that they tried to short-circuit the appeals process whenever they could. The "Today's Learning" selection by Learnist today is related to a time in which the courts succeeded in squelching a defendant's right to appeal. As Cara Ellison wrote in Chapter 39 of Blogging Enron:
"Scott Yeager won a motion to dismiss his hung counts at the Supreme Court based on a double jeopardy provision, one of the most basic Constitutional protections of this country’s legal system. This should have made the dismissal of Rex Shelby’s hung counts a foregone conclusion because his situation was essentially the same as Yeager’s case. However, in order to avoid that outcome, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, in a shockingly ridiculous decision, ruled that the Supreme Court decision in Scott Yeager’s case did not change any law and that, therefore, Shelby could not appeal his case.
This, of course, was transparently a results-based decision by the 5th Circuit. The text of the ruling is so inane and illogical that even a layman can see that the 5th Circuit was determined to have the outcome it wanted even though there was no rational basis for it. Clearly, the Supreme Court did, in fact, change the underlying law in the Yeager case — in fact that decision has already been used by a number of non-Enron defendants to gain dismissals of counts. But because Rex Shelby was associated with Enron, the legal protections accorded to all other defendants in this country were denied him.
This is one of those details of the Enron prosecutions that is largely unknown and uninteresting to the press and public because it deals with a level of detail in the legal process that people generally do not want to even try to understand. But it is a stark example of how the Constitutional protections of our legal system can be denied to individuals when the courts do not do their jobs and when the press and public accept the misconduct. And the lack of outrage by the press and the public about the misconduct of the Feds in the Enron cases show how 'morally flexible' people seem to be — they are entirely willing to accept abuse, just so long as that abuse is heaped on the people they do not care about.
As I have said before, I am fond of people in general, but sometimes I despair about the shallowness of humans — we seem to choose to be morally outraged only when it is convenient for us and when it fits with our biases."
Blogging Enron: The Enron Broadband Story by Cara Ellison contains nearly 60 images, each of which is also included and described in the Learnist board, "Blogging Enron Book Images". For information about Learnist, check out the post on this blog, "Learning with Learnist."
And thank you, LEARNIST, for putting a spotlight on those images from the Rumble Press board!