The SEC issued a partial stay of the conflict minerals rule Friday, officially postponing the date for compliance with the portion of the rule that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit invalidated on April 14.
In its opinion in National Association of Manufacturers v. SEC, the court said the rule violates the First Amendment by requiring issuers to disclose in SEC filings and on their websites if any of their products have “not been found to be ‘DRC conflict-free.'”
Following the court’s decision, the SEC issued guidance on April 29 to assist companies preparing their disclosures by the quarter’s end on May 31, saying they don’t need to declare any of their products “not found to be ‘DRC conflict-free'” or “DRC conflict-undeterminable.”
In its order Friday, the SEC denied a motion filed by the National Association of Manufacturers, Chamber of Commerce and Business Roundtable for a stay of the entire rule.
The SEC said it’s committed to enforcing the parts of the rule upheld by the court and approved by Congress.
The SEC’s May 2, 2014 release is here.
Julie DiMauro is the executive editor of FCPA Blog and can be reached here.