Thursday, June 10, 2010

D.C. Circuit Allows Appeal to Go Forward and Welcomes Participation of Former CPAC Members

The DC Circuit has denied the government's motion for summary affirmance of Judge Leon's ruling in the Freedom of Information Act case brought against the State Department's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs ("ECA") by numismatic groups.

The Court also granted a motion by certain former members of the President's Cultural Property Advisory Committee to participate in the appeal in support of more transparency in the State Department's handling of import restrictions requests.

The State Department had claimed that the views of former CPAC members were "irrelevant" to the issues.

One wonders why President Obama's promises of government transparency and accountability have yet to sink into the State Department's Cultural Heritage Center.

Will Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy Judith McHale, President Obama's political appointee, take notice? Will Ann Stock, nominee to head ECA, take stock of the situation at the Cultural Heritage Center once she is confirmed to her post? One hopes so.

The DC Circuit is expected to issue a briefing schedule for the appeal shortly.

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