Saturday, June 26, 2010

Are the State Department Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and its Cultural Heritage Center Above the Law?

Ann Stock was confirmed this week as Assistant Secretary for the State Department's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. One would hope that she takes President Obama's promises of government transparency and accountability seriously, particularly after being queried about it during her confirmation hearings. If so, I do also hope she reviews the long awaited (127 days) response to the ACCG's complaint in the Customs test case. That case was only filed after Customs sat on the coins of Cypriot and Chinese type it seized from the ACCG for almost a year.

In its response, the government argues that the complaint should be dismissed because the State Department's controversial decisions to impose import restrictions on Cypriot and Chinese coins are unreviewable as a foreign policy matter [even though a trade restriction is being litigated].

The brief is silent as to why Customs and State failed instead to make good use of the additional time allowed to respond to the Complaint to file a forfeiture action as mandated by the CPIA.

ACCG will respond to Customs' and State's motion to dismiss within the time allotted. Then, the issue will be one for the Court to decide.

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