A federal appeals court struck down a requirement that companies to disclose whether their products contain minerals from the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), The Hill reports.
The DC Circuit Court of Appeals court said a provision of the rule promulgated from the Dodd-Frank Act forcing companies to publicly report their products as not “conflict-free” violated their First Amendment protections against compelled speech.
But the court upheld provisions of the rule. It concluded that the Securities and Exchange Commission was correct in requiring companies to determine whether any gold, tantalum, tin or tungsten in their products comes from the DRC or adjoining nations.
Warring factions are battling for control of the Central African nation’s valuable mineral supply. Proponents say more scrupulous sourcing would lead to lowered demand and decreased violence.
As originally drafted, the regulations would apply to roughly 6,000 U.S. businesses.
Photo: Janet Lindenmuth Flickr photostream