Dead as a doornail, as Scrooge might say. And unlike Old Marley in Charles Dicken’s “A Christmas Carol”, it’s not about to come back and start spooking us in the middle of the night. That there was criminal behavior on the part of some Arthur Andersen executives is undeniable. What they did was show blatant disregard for the law in the midst of one of the worst corporate scandals in our nation’s history. The company paid the ultimate price as a result and there is no turning the clock back now.
But did everyone in the whole company deserve to lose their jobs as a result? Certainly not. All the people who worked on the top floor of my building here in San Antonio lost their jobs as a result of the scandal. It didn’t really matter whether criminal charges were ultimately upheld or overturned.
Since the Supreme Court decision was unanimous I would imagine there is not much room for arguing it. They say the jury instructions were flawed so I guess they were. But that doesn’t mean that the former Arthur Andersen executives are vindicated. Rather it is just one more glaring exampe of the gross incompetence of the Bush administration - in this case, the Bush Justice Department.