Court Gives SEC Another Chance to Defend Conflict Minerals Rule
The same court that struck down parts of the Securities and Exchange’s conflict minerals disclosure rule as unconstitutional earlier has agreed to give the agency another chance to state its case. On Tuesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia said it will permit the SEC to file a supplemental brief, setting the stage for reconsideration of an April 2014 decision that scaled back conflict minerals disclosure demands amid First Ammendment concerns.
Opposing requirements that public companies disclose details regarding certain minerals that may be mined in the war torn Congo, the National Association of Manufacturers, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the Business Roundtable sued to stop to the rule. In April, the U.S. Appeals Court for the District of Columbia Circuit agreed that a requirement for companies to reveal not just supply chain due diligence, but also whether or not their products are “conflict free” was a violation of free speech protections. The SEC, in response, issued a partial stay of the rule. Inaugural filings proceeded as planned, with a June 2 deadline, but without the need to declare conflict minerals status. Read more on Compliance Week.