The conflict minerals case was remanded to the United Stated District Court for the District of Columbia for further proceedings. Judge Jackson ordered the parties to file a joint status report indicating whether any further proceedings are necessary, and whether the Court should enter an order of final judgment to effectuate the Circuit’s decision.
In the status report, the parties noted that the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit held that Section 1502 and the 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.”” The status report further stated:
“The parties now agree that no such proceedings are necessary. The Court of Appeals’ decisions resolved the plaintiffs’ claim in this case that the relevant portion of the Rule as currently formulated (and the statute to the extent that it compels that portion of the Rule) violates the First Amendment; no additional proceedings are necessary to assess the validity of the Rule and statute. Accordingly, final judgment in accordance with the Court of Appeals’ decisions is appropriate.”
Assuming the Court enters the judgment as requested, my view is this means the status quo will continue under the current SEC guidance until the SEC takes further action.