Rehearing Reaffirms Unconstitutionality of Conflict Minerals Provisions

August 19, 2015|Written by GreenSoft Technology, Inc.

DC appeals courtThe on-going legal dispute over the Conflict Minerals provisions of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act reached another milestone yesterday, as a three-seat panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit reaffirmed the Court’s prior decision.

In April 2014, the Court ruled that requiring electronics manufacturers to declare a compliance status is compelled free speech that violates the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Yesterday the split-panel ruling reaffirmed that decision.

The remainder of the Conflict Minerals law is still in effect. Affected companies will still be required to report or disclose their conflict mineral data. Only the provision requiring companies to state whether their products are “DRC conflict free,” “not been found to be DRC conflict free” or “DRC conflict undeterminable” has been struck down.

The SEC had appealed the April decision leading to yesterday’s panel rehearing. The SEC is permitted to appeal yesterday’s panel decision yet again by requesting a hearing en banc, i.e. in front of the entire D.C. Court of Appeals.

Read a full text of yesterday’s decision here.

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