Victory! Court Upholds Conflict Minerals Rule
July 29, 2013
If you believe corporate accountability for human rights violations is a good thing, you'll love this news: Industry interest groups looking to tie up the Dodd Frank conflict minerals rule in court lost.
This week, a federal court upheld the SEC rule that requires corporations to publicly disclose whether the minerals they source have helped finance armed groups in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
As I've blogged about before, the SEC passed this rule in response to passage of the Dodd Frank Act, a major hunk of legislation on financial reform that included the disclosure requirement, enabling consumers to make sure their purchases do not fuel the unspeakable violence that has ravaged the DRC.
Out of the many claims made by the interest groups, which included the US Chamber of Commerce and National Association of Manufacturers, perhaps one bizarre requirement is that the mere requirement to disclose sourcing that fuels mass murder violates the first amendment rights of corporations.
Thankfully the court rejected these claims, ruling that the conflict minerals rule "directly and materially advanced Congress’ interest in promoting peace and security in and around the DRC. "
As a key supporter of the rule, we applaud the protection of this important policy. As the court ruling notes:
"Congress believed that it could not “begin to solve the problems of eastern Congo without addressing where the armed groups are receiving their funding, mainly from the mining of a number of key conflict minerals.”
For more information:
- Earthworks page on Dodd Frank Act and Conflict Minerals
- Analysis of ruling from Global Witness