What’s Up With Conflict Minerals – Stay Tuned For More Legal Developments!

As you may have heard, on April 14, to give us all a bit of a boost before the tax deadline, a divided panel of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Colombia Circuit issued a decision that finds that part of the SEC’s Conflict Minerals Rule violates the first amendment.

For those of us who have been hoping this Dodd-Frank imposed requirement would go away, this might not be all that we have been wishing for.

First, the rule is still in effect, it was not overturned at the appellate level. The matter was returned to the District Court, so more will follow.

Also, the ruling is very specific as to what part of the rule creates a problem with the first amendment, and in fact did not overturn the lower court ruling on a number of other issues.

The problem the court identified is the section that requires “regulated entities to report to the Commission and to state on their website that any of their products have ‘not been found to be “DRC conflict free’.”

Various other parts of the rule that deal with issues such as:

An exception for de minimis use,
The due diligence requirements,
Issues if companies contract to manufacture, and
The SEC’s cost – benefit analysis,

were not overturned by the appellate court.

What will happen? Stay tuned!

You can find the decision at:

http://www.cadc.uscourts.gov/internet/opinions.nsf/D3B5DAF947A03F2785257CBA0053AEF8/$file/13-5252-1488184.pdf

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