In his last public appearance as a member of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Commissioner Paul Atkins said that, with regards to shareholder rights, the agency “would be wise to continue to respect the principles of federalism and avoid the temptation to exceed the limitations on its authority delegated by the Congress.”

Speaking yesterday before the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Atkins addressed a controversial change to the SEC’s Rule 14a-8, which lays out the circumstances under which shareholder proposals may be included in proxy materials. The rule allows shareholders who own a small quantity of a company’s stock to have their proposals considered alongside management’s in proxy statements for presentation at annual or special shareholders meetings.

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