On October 19, 2012, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers filed a petition for review with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit challenging the SEC’s rule on disclosure of the use of conflict minerals and requesting that the rule be modified or set aside in whole or in part. The petition also requests a review of Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Act, pursuant to which the SEC adopted the conflicts mineral rule on August 22, 2012. The petitioners have not yet provided their arguments for challenging the rule.
Our client alert discussing the conflict minerals rule is available here. Issuers subject to the conflict minerals rule are currently required to comply with the rule for the calendar year beginning January 1, 2013 and file their first reports on new Form SD by May 31, 2014. It remains to be seen whether the SEC will stay the rule while the litigation is pending as it did when its proxy access rule was challenged in 2010.
This is the second SEC rule to be challenged within the last two weeks. As we reported previously, the SEC’s resource extraction payment disclosure rule was challenged in federal courts by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other groups on October 10, 2012.