Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Not for Me to Decide....

That's the message that comes across loud and clear from Judge Blake's admittedly well written opinion dismissing the ACCG test case. See

But if it's not a matter for the courts, who then will address legitimate concerns about how the State Department and US Customs impose and apply import restrictions on widely collected cultural goods like ancient coins?

The State Department or US Customs? Fat chance.

The Obama White House, under its transparency and regulatory reform initiatives? Doubtful.

Congress? Well, members of the House and Senate from both political parties have indeed made their concerns known about how import restrictions are imposed to the State Department, only to be stonewalled in return. But wrestling with the State Department's entrenched bureaucracy is not a high priority, particularly given the other problems facing our country.

All this, of course, helps explain why regular citizens increasingly hold our government in such low regard. Indeed, this issue in many ways encapsulates what is wrong with Washington: Faceless bureaucrats making decisions in secret at the behest of connected, narrow special interest groups with little more than lip service being given to the protections built into the law for small businesses and individuals.

All shameful, but legal, at least according to one US District Court.

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