December 12, 2014 – December 19, 2014

The summaries provided in this Weekly Recap do not necessarily represent the views of Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLP and should not be deemed to be endorsements of them. The Recap is intended to be a compilation of articles and events to encourage discussion within the conflict minerals community and to keep our readers updated on the most recent developments.

Bloomberg BNA: SEC Argues Its Conflict Minerals Rule Survives First Amendment Scrutiny

As you may be aware, on November 18, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals of Appeals for the District of Columbia granted the SEC’s petition for rehearing of the court’s April 2014 decision that found that certain disclosure requirements of the conflict minerals rule violated the First Amendment. On December 8, 2014, the SEC filed its Supplemental Brief with the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Yin Wilczek of Bloomberg BNA reports that in its brief, the SEC argued that the court “should uphold the entirety of the agency’s conflict minerals rule.” Yin elaborates upon the SEC’s position, “The D.C. Circuit’s July en banc ruling in American Meat Institute v. Dep’t of Agriculture, 746 F.3d 1065, 2014 BL 86913 (D.C. Cir. 2014), ‘makes clear that the conflict minerals disclosure is consistent with the First Amendment.’”

The SEC reasons that the statements made by reporting companies to comply with the disclosure requirements of the conflict minerals rule are purely factual and uncontroversial.

According to the order granting the rehearing, responses by the business groups challenging the rule are due by December 29, 2014.