Elon Musk petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to undo a settlement agreement he and Tesla made with the SEC that required the billionaire entrepreneur have a “Twitter sitter” approve his tweets about the company.
“Musk’s attorneys said the agreement set an unconstitutional condition on Musk and amounts to a violation of his free speech rights,” CNBC reports.
— Lou Dobbs (@LouDobbs) December 8, 2023
Musk’s attorneys argued he was coerced into agreeing with the “unconstitutional conditions.”
The SEC charged Musk with civil securities fraud after he posted a series of tweets in 2018 saying he had “funding secured” to take Tesla private for $420 per share, and that “investor support” for such a deal was “confirmed.” Trading in Tesla was halted after his tweets, and shares remained volatile in the weeks that followed.
Musk and Tesla settled with the regulator and then revised the agreement in April 2019. Since then, the SEC has continued to investigate Musk and Tesla to ensure that they’re complying with the terms.Advertisement
The settlement “restricts Mr. Musk’s speech even when truthful and accurate,” his lawyers wrote. “It extends to speech not covered by the securities laws and with no relation to the conduct underlying the SEC’s civil action against Mr. Musk. And it chills Mr. Musk’s speech through the never-ending threat of contempt, fines, or even imprisonment for otherwise protected speech if not pre-approved to the SEC’s or a court’s satisfaction.”
Musk purchased Twitter in 2022 and renamed it X this year. He is the company’s chairman and chief technology officer.
A three-judge panel from the 2nd U.S. Circuit of Appeals in Manhattan refused to hear the appeal, saying there was “no evidence to support Musk’s contention that the SEC has used the consent decree to conduct bad-faith, harassing investigations of his protected speech.”
Musk needs four of the nine U.S. Supreme Court justices to agree to take the case to secure a hearing from the high court.
NEWS: Elon Musk is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to undo a settlement that requires Elon to have a “Twitter sitter” that approves his tweets about Tesla before posting them.
Elon’s lawyers argue that the settlement “restricts Mr. Musk’s speech even when truthful and accurate”… pic.twitter.com/wv89PRqsuo
— X News Daily (@xDaily) December 7, 2023
Business Insider noted:
Musk’s unfiltered posting on X has continued to get him into trouble in recent months. The Tesla CEO, who bought the social media site last year for $44 billion, is facing an exodus of advertisers after he called an antisemitic post “the actual truth” in a post on X.
Musk later admitted it was a “foolish” thing to post — but he has since doubled down on his criticism of advertisers, telling them to “go f*** yourselves” in an interview and attacking Disney CEO Bob Iger in a series of posts.
Read the full petition HERE.