Past Cases

Conflict Minerals

Status Amicus Brief

Practice area Human Rights

Court U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit

Case number 12-1422


Cohen Milstein represented current and former members of Congress as amicus curiae in the conflict minerals litigation, National Association of Manufacturers, et al. v. Securities and Exchange Commission, et al., No. 12-1422, before the D.C. Circuit and the district court.

In response to the ongoing bloodshed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo funded by the sale of conflict minerals, Congress required companies to disclose whether they use minerals originating in the DRC and adjoining countries and the source of those minerals. Within 14 months of the law passing, over 500 mines in Rwanda and the Congo were producing over 550 tons of conflict free minerals per month, replacing a substantial percentage of what was being mined in the black market before the law passed. The SEC issued regulations implementing the disclosure requirement, but although the disclosure regime was supported by many industry groups, including the technology industry, the National Association of Manufacturers and the Chamber of Commerce challenged the SEC rules.

The amicus was filed in support of the SEC rule to describe the impact of the disclosure regime and provide the Court with background on congressional efforts to further humanitarian and national security goals, provide stability to the minerals trade, and enable investors to be better informed. In its ruling, the D.C. Circuit panel agreed with the congressional amici on every issue covered by the brief filed by Cohen Milstein.