Sarah C. Haan


Starting in the 1930s with the earliest version of the proxy rules, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has gradually increased the proportion of “instructed” votes on the shareholder’s proxy card until, for the first time in 2022, it required a fully instructed proxy card. This evolution effectively shifted the exercise of the shareholder’s vote from the shareholders’ meeting to the vote delegation that occurs when the share-holder fills out the proxy card. The point in the electoral process when the binding voting choice is communicated is now the execution of the proxy card (assuming the shareholder completes the card without error); proxy-holders merely transmit the shareholder’s instruction as a formality.

This shift is more significant than generally recognized because, as this Essay explains, it restores the potential for deliberative shareholder governance to the large, publicly held corporation. Furthermore, the shift has occurred at a moment in history when technologies exist to facilitate new processes of deliberative shareholder governance. Market actors now are leveraging technology to create such innovations as pass-through voting and advance voting instructions, and academic support is building for new rules that would require intermediaries to provide their beneficial holders with choice infrastructure. This is the realization of the New Deal project to make shareholder preference-satisfaction the crux of the share-holder franchise, and it holds real promise to move corporate governance beyond shareholder wealth maximization.

Included in

Accounting Law Commons, Administrative Law Commons, Admiralty Commons, Agency Commons, Agriculture Law Commons, Air and Space Law Commons, Animal Law Commons, Antitrust and Trade Regulation Commons, Banking and Finance Law Commons, Bankruptcy Law Commons, Business Organizations Law Commons, Civil Law Commons, Civil Procedure Commons, Civil Rights and Discrimination Commons, Commercial Law Commons, Common Law Commons, Communications Law Commons, Comparative and Foreign Law Commons, Computer Law Commons, Conflict of Laws Commons, Constitutional Law Commons, Construction Law Commons, Consumer Protection Law Commons, Contracts Commons, Courts Commons, Criminal Law Commons, Criminal Procedure Commons, Cultural Heritage Law Commons, Disability Law Commons, Disaster Law Commons, Dispute Resolution and Arbitration Commons, Education Law Commons, Elder Law Commons, Election Law Commons, Energy and Utilities Law Commons, Entertainment, Arts, and Sports Law Commons, Environmental Law Commons, Estates and Trusts Commons, European Law Commons, Evidence Commons, Family Law Commons, First Amendment Commons, Food and Drug Law Commons, Fourteenth Amendment Commons, Fourth Amendment Commons, Gaming Law Commons, Government Contracts Commons, Health Law and Policy Commons, Housing Law Commons, Human Rights Law Commons, Immigration Law Commons, Indigenous, Indian, and Aboriginal Law Commons, Insurance Law Commons, Intellectual Property Law Commons, International Humanitarian Law Commons, International Law Commons, International Trade Law Commons, Internet Law Commons, Judges Commons, Jurisdiction Commons, Jurisprudence Commons, Juvenile Law Commons, Labor and Employment Law Commons, Land Use Law Commons, Law and Economics Commons, Law and Gender Commons, Law and Philosophy Commons, Law and Politics Commons, Law and Psychology Commons, Law and Race Commons, Law and Society Commons, Law Enforcement and Corrections Commons, Law of the Sea Commons, Legal Biography Commons, Legal Education Commons, Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility Commons, Legal History Commons, Legal Profession Commons, Legal Remedies Commons, Legal Writing and Research Commons, Legislation Commons, Litigation Commons, Marketing Law Commons, Medical Jurisprudence Commons, Military, War, and Peace Commons, National Security Law Commons, Natural Law Commons, Natural Resources Law Commons, Nonprofit Organizations Law Commons, Oil, Gas, and Mineral Law Commons, Organizations Law Commons, Other Law Commons, President/Executive Department Commons, Privacy Law Commons, Property Law and Real Estate Commons, Public Law and Legal Theory Commons, Religion Law Commons, Retirement Security Law Commons, Rule of Law Commons, Science and Technology Law Commons, Second Amendment Commons, Secured Transactions Commons, Securities Law Commons, Sexuality and the Law Commons, Social Welfare Law Commons, State and Local Government Law Commons, Supreme Court of the United States Commons, Taxation-Federal Commons, Taxation-Federal Estate and Gift Commons, Taxation-State and Local Commons, Taxation-Transnational Commons, Tax Law Commons, Torts Commons, Transnational Law Commons, Transportation Law Commons, Water Law Commons, Workers' Compensation Law Commons