What Does the District Court's Decision in the Challenge to the Resource Extraction Disclosure Portend About the Conflict Minerals Rule?

    View Author July 2013

    In its July 2 ruling in American Petroleum Institute (API) v Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the U.S. District Court vacated the SEC’s controversial resource extraction disclosure rule and remanded it to the SEC for further proceedings. Observers of the SEC’s conflict minerals rule, itself being challenged in National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) v SEC, are reviewing the API v SEC decision and considering what insight it may provide into the future of the SEC’s conflict minerals rule.

    Many observers are now noting the parallels between the conflict minerals rule and the resource extraction disclosure rule. In addition, elements of the court’s analysis in API v SEC could apply to certain of the issues raised in NAM v SEC.  A similar decision about the conflict minerals rule would put both rules back in the hands of the SEC.  At the conclusion of Monday’s oral argument in NAM v SEC, Judge Wilkins indicated that he would render a decision soon.  Reporting companies are anxiously awaiting that decision and the impact it will have on their conflict minerals compliance programs.