When a federal appeals court last month overturned a rule to allow shareholder proxy access, it didn't just deliver a rebuke to the Securities and Exchange Commission; it gave a roadmap to SEC critics eager to thwart the agency's many other forthcoming rules.

Now those critics seem to be proceeding just so, raising objections to SEC proposed rules that echo the logic the appellate court used to declare the proxy access rule invalid. The practical result could be still more delays in implementing many rules of the Dodd-Frank Act, when the SEC is already well behind schedule—with corporate compliance departments ...