The opinion also suggests to the agency that it revise its regulatory policy to make clear shareholders’ rights in regard to business operations.
A federal appeals court last week issued its full opinion explaining why shareholders of Wal-Mart do not have the right to impose a vote to decide if the company can sell guns that use high-capacity magazines.
The 60-page opinion details the complexities of the relationship between shareholders and the company they have a stake in, and how the decision is ultimately up to the government agency, the Securities and Exchange Commission, tasked with regulating public companies.
“Despite the substantial uptick in proposals attempting to raise social policy issues that bat down the business operations bar, the SEC’s last word on the subject came in the 1990s, and we have no hint that any change from it or Congress is forthcoming,” reads the opinion. “As one former SEC commissioner has opined, ‘it is neither fair nor reasonable to expect securities experts [like the Commission and its staff] to deduce the prevailing wind on public policy issues that have yet to be addressed by Congress in any decisive fashion.’”