“Hear ye, Hear ye.” The parties to the legal challenge of the SECs conflict minerals rule have agreed that no further court proceedings are necessary and have requested that the US District Court enter a judgment in accordance with the decisions of the Court of Appeals — that is, that certain elements of the rule violated reporting entities’ First Amendment rights. So, the legal challenge of the rule is over — all but the final judgment to be entered by the US District Court. A proposed final judgment is to be proposed by the parties no later than March 20, 2017.
It all started back on August 22, 2012, when the SEC adopted its conflict minerals rule as required by Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Act. Two months later, on October 22, 2012, a petition for review was first filed with the US Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit, requesting that the conflict minerals rule be modified or set aside in whole or in part. After many proceedings in the District Court and the Court of Appeals, in April 2014, the DC Circuit Court of Appeals held that Section 1502 and the conflict minerals rule violated the First Amendment “to the extent the statute and the rule require 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.'” In April 2015, after a panel rehearing, the Court of Appeals issued a new opinion and confirmed its April 2014 ruling.