U.S. Court of Appeals Declares Portion of the SEC’s Conflict Minerals Rule Unconstitutional

U.S. Court of Appeals Declares Portion of the SEC’s Conflict Minerals Rule Unconstitutional

On April 14, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled against the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the wishes of human rights groups, after ruling that disclosure requirements included in the Commission’s “conflict minerals” rules violate the First Amendment by compelling companies to disclose whether their products contain certain minerals whose sales fund violent armed groups in Central Africa.

D.C. Circuit Vacates Dodd-Frank Conflict Minerals Provision & SEC Rule As Violating First Amendment Free Speech

The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia today, in National Association of Manufacturers v. SEC, affirmed a district court judgment that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) did not violate procedural requirements or misconstrue the statute in promulgating the Conflict Minerals Rule, but vacated the specific underlying statutory provision and the rule because the requirements compelled speech in violation of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.