Mark Roe's work on the relationship between Delaware and Washington (i.e., state and federal law) in regulating corporate governance strongly influenced my approach to corporate federalism in my book Corporate Governance after the Financial Crisis, so I was very interested to see his new paper A Spatial Representation of Delaware-Washington Interaction in Corporate Lawmaking. Here's the abstract:
Delaware and Washington interact in making corporate law. In prior work I showed how Delaware corporate law can be, and often is, confined by federal action. Sometimes Washington acts and preempts the field, constitutionally or functionally. Sometimes Delaware tilts toward or follows Washington opinion, even if that opinion does not square perfectly with its own consensus view of the best way to proceed. And sometimes Delaware affects Washington activity, effectively coopting a busy Washington from acting in ways that do not accord with Delaware’s major constituents’ view of best practice. Delaware influences Washington decision-making when Delaware is positioned between its own ultimate preferences (determined in part by its primary constituencies’ consensus position) and Washington’s prevailing preferences. Since Congress has a long and complex agenda, if key players in Washington become satisfied that the Delaware legal outputs are close enough to their own preferences, Delaware can induce Washington to desist from going further.
At the Columbia Symposium on Delaware corporate lawmaking, I presented a straight-forward spatial model paralleling spatial models that political scientists have used to illustrate other contexts of government jurisdictional interaction. In this article, I describe and set forth that model to illustrate Delaware-Washington interaction in the last decade’s making of proxy access rules.
The extension of his thesis to the proxy access debate is both timely and highly useful. I'm not convinced the diagrams he uses to illustrate the analysis help all that much, but as always YMMV. In any case, it's an important and highly recommended paper.