Saturday, March 20, 2010

Retaliation for Seeking Access to the Courts?

Wayne Sayles recounts his experience returning home from the Newcastle archaeological conference here:

One would hope U.S. Customs and Border Protection has not placed Wayne Sayles on a "watch list" in retaliation for his part in filing a case to test U.S. Customs and State Department Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs regulations concerning Cypriot and Chinese coins. That, of course, would constitute a very serious breach of the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment right to seek access to the courts.

The coins in question were properly declared on entry to the U.S. ACCG's customs broker even directed U.S. Customs and Border Protection personnel to the applicable regulations. In other words, U.S. Customs was apprised from the get-go that the coins were imported for purposes of a test case. Under the circumstances, any possibility that that the search of Wayne Sayles on his entry back into the U.S. is related to that test case would be troubling indeed.

Back in January, U.S. Customs also detained the stock of a dealer who supplied the coins for the test case. See Is it all just another coincidence or is something much more sinister at work?

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