The American justice system, which Conrad M. Black disparaged before, during and after his conviction on fraud and obstruction of justice charges in 2007, has taken a surprising turn today -surprising to Mr. Black, especially. The U.S. Supreme Court announced this morning that it will hear his appeal.
A few years ago, there were not many who would have refused to listen to whatever Mr. Black wanted to say. He was courted, honored, praised and saluted throughout North America and Europe by presidents, prime ministers and princes. Now, the only people who matter are the nine justices of the top court of the land. This is not the best time, still, for Mr. Black, who remains in prison, and some of his friends, who have their own travails with various forms of the legal system.
Garth Drabinsky was found guilty of fraud in a Toronto court earlier this year. Former Canadian prime minister Brian Mulroney is even now at the center of a commission of inquiry looking into the circumstances which saw his receiving envelopes of cash, beginning just after he retired from office, from a shady arms dealer who is wanted by the German government. Conrad Black served on the board of Livent, the company founded by Mr. Drabinsky, who was a close friend. Brian Mulroney elevated Conrad Black to membership in Canada’s privy council, a rare honor for those who do not hold public office. Conrad Black was a long-time friend of Mr. Mulroney and a major financial backer of the Conservative party under his leadership. All of these men are members the Order of Canada and were trained in the law.
Mr. Black has frequently opined on the failings of the U.S. justice system. But as he now begins to set his gaze upon the only remaining nine citizens of planet Earth who hold the key to his future in their hands, one can soon expect to hear that institution trumpeted, in true Blackarian form, as the Founders’ purest and most noble of creations. It’s not entirely a virtueless view, and it is a marked improvement from his lordship’s previous line about the prosecutors with toilet seats around their necks.