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SEC Chair Responds to Senator’s Conflict Minerals Request

Responding to Senator Michael Crapo’s request that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) proceed with a full stay on the reporting requirements from Release No. 34-67716, Conflict Minerals, SEC Chair Mary Jo White declared that her agency plans to wait for a final court ruling before deciding if further regulatory action is necessary. In a letter to Crapo this week, White stated that the SEC’s actions from the April 14th appeals court decision are in line with the ruling, the SEC’s rule and Congress’ purpose in the Dodd-Frank Act. Last month, the SEC requested that the full appeals court review the April decision.

In his initial letter to White two months ago, Crapo referenced a court decision from earlier this year affirming certain language in the Conflict Minerals rule as unconstitutional and a violation of companies’ First Amendment. According to Crapo, the ruling makes a full stay on the reporting requirements necessary. Crapo also said that forcing compliance with the provision causes legal issues that could be a financial burden to companies and their consumers.

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