Wal-Mart wins appeal over Trinity, Wall Street challenge
AN AMERICAN Appeals Court has overturned a lower court ruling requiring Wal-Mart Stores Inc. to let shareholders vote on a proposal submitted by the parish of Trinity Wall Street in New York to halt sales of ammunition clips and explicit rap music in its stores.
With assets of over $2 billion in real estate, shares and investments, the Manhattan congregation is considered the wealthiest parish in the Anglican world. And it has used its financial clout in recent years to influence the corporate world.
On 1 April 2014 the parish filed a complaint in the Delaware Federal District Court asking it to compel Wal-Mart to allow materials to be distributed to shareholders that calls for the company’s board to regulate the sale of products that offend “family values.”
The court upheld the complaint but on 14 April 2015 a Philadelphia appellate judge ruled “WalMart may exclude Trinity’s Proposals from its 2015 proxy materials.”
In a letter to the parish filed at the start of the lawsuit, Trinity’s rector Dr James Cooper wrote that the parish was seeking the halt the sales of products “especially dangerous to the public” and “offensive to the community.”
A spokesman for Wal-Mart applauded the decision saying the court had properly recognised the error of having the courts regulate a company’s lawful business practices.