I first noted the story concerning the matter of Trinity Wall Street v. Walmart on 9 January. Today the next phase begins.
Wal-Mart Stores on Feb. 13 is scheduled to file a U.S. appeals court brief arguing that a shareholder proposal intrudes on ordinary business operations and can be excluded from the company's 2015 proxy ballot. The shareholder, Trinity Church in New York, filed its brief in opposition on Feb. 4. Trinity's proposal calls for the governance committee of Wal-Mart's board to implement policies for determining whether the company should sell guns and other products that may endanger public safety and potentially harm the company's reputation. Wal-Mart obtained the Securities and Exchange Commission's permission to exclude the proposal from the 2014 ballot. But a federal court in November overruled the commission, ordering the proposal included in 2015 proxy materials because it involves public policy issues that transcend ordinary operations like selling products. Wal-Mart appealed the decision, and a ruling is expected in April, well before the company's annual meeting in June.
Not unexpectedly, the story is gathering national legs in Gun Control's Biggest Advocate: The Church and New York Church Taking Walmart To Court Over Gun Sales. Jeff Hess: Have Coffee Will Write.

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