Elon Musk’s latest bid to end SEC oversight on posts is denied

Ministério Das Comunicações, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

The U.S. Supreme Court has denied Elon Musk’s latest bid to throw out the post oversight part of a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), after a 2018 tweet in which he said he had “funding secured to take Tesla private at 420 a share.”

As a part of the settlement following a later lawsuit lodged against Musk for the tweet, he agreed to have a Tesla lawyer pre-approve his posts on Twitter, along with giving up his role as chairman and he and Tesla each paying $20 million fines.

After Musk appealed the oversight agreement in the 2nd U.S. Circuit of Appeals last year, the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday said it would uphold the decision and wouldn’t hear the Tesla CEO’s plea to have the oversight part of the settlement thrown out, according to a report from Reuters.

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In the original appeal, Musk’s lawyers claimed the arrangement was a violation of his free speech, with Musk himself even calling it a “government-imposed muzzle,” Musk also complained that the SEC oversight conditions were unlawful, and the government shouldn’t be able to dictate what he says online about Tesla.

Lawyers also said the agreement “restricts Mr. Musk’s speech even when truthful and accurate. 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” (via CNBC).

He also said during the trial that the tweet had not meant to be funny, despite the number of 420 being commonly associated with cannabis and used as somewhat of a meme on its own. Around 3,350 investors are expected to receive roughly $12,400 each as part of the settlement, dispersed from the $40 million in total fines paid by Musk and Tesla.

The settlement was also decided prior to Musk’s 2022 takeover of Twitter, now renamed X, though the Tesla CEO has been a frequent user of the platform since 2011.

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Elon Musk’s latest bid to end SEC oversight on posts is denied
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