Or, so CPO thought. Yet, archaeo-blogger Rick St. Hilaire offers no context with his selective quotations from the Fourth Circuit's opinion in the ACCG test case to support his views on whether State and Customs must make a principled determination of whether coin types are "first discovered" in a specific county before restricting them. Nor does he link to the opinion itself; only his own "archaeology over all spin" on it.
Specifically, St. Hilaire fails to acknowledge that the Court's statements related to the "first discovery" provision were made in the context of a decision that affirmed dismissal of the ACCG's test case on so-called "foreign policy grounds." For that reason, the ACCG was never allowed to take discovery that would go to how the "first discovery" requirement was meant to work in practice.
One can question whether the Fourth Circuit's opinion has any real vitality at all after a recent Supreme Court decision that addressed this "foreign policy" issue. See Zifotofsky v. Clinton, 132 S.Ct. 1421 (2012). However, it cannot be debated that the Fourth Circuit also stated that ACCG should be given the opportunity to contest that its coins are covered by import restrictions in the context of a forfeiture action. It's ACCG's view that by necessity this requires discovery into whether State and Customs made a principled determination of whether the coins subject to forfeiture were of the sort that can only be "first discovered" in Cyprus or China, something that was not allowed in in the context of the test case that sought to modify or throw out the applicable regulations.