The conflict minerals case was remanded to the United Stated District Court for the District of Columbia for further proceedings. Judge Jackson has ordered the parties to file a joint status report, on or before March 10, 2017, indicating whether any further proceedings are necessary, and whether the Court should enter an order of final judgement to effectuate the Circuit’s decision.
As previously noted, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia issued its decision on the conflict minerals rule after a rehearing. In National Association of Manufacturers, et al, v. SEC, the Court adhered to its original judgment that the SEC’s conflict minerals rule violated the First Amendment to the extent the statute and 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 appeals Court also stated “all of this presents a serious problem for the SEC because, as we have said, the government may not rest on such speculation or conjecture. Rather the SEC had the burden of demonstrating that the measure it adopted would “in fact alleviate” the harms it recited “to a material degree.” The SEC has made no such demonstration in this case and, as we have discussed, during the rulemaking the SEC conceded that it was unable to do so. This in itself dooms the statute and the SEC’s regulation.”