Elon Musk’s Struggle With the SEC: Interfering with Freedom of Expression?


Although Elon Musk objected to the decision that some Tesla-related tweets require attorney approval, his efforts were futile.

A federal appeals court in Manhattan rejected the allegation that the 2018 settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) was an unfair “pre-blocking” of Musk’s speech. According to the testimony of the tribunal, Musk can defend himself against the trial or if he wanted to tweet without legal oversight could have negotiated a different agreement.

The SEC does not want Musk to provide Tesla information from his own account. For this reason, in 2018, it was decided that the tweets he would send had to be approved by a lawyer. And, of course, Musk opposed it. However, a judge forced the parties involved to negotiate. In 2019, it got them in a deal that gave Musk more freedom in exchange for agreeing to a regulation that required legal team approval for tweets about finances.

Musk has been fighting the SEC ever since, and has recently demanded that the courts cancel the agreement. Musk claims that the commission forced him to make a deal and overstepped his jurisdiction. Musk’s side also says the deal violates his rights to freedom of expression. Last April, a judge rejected a request to cancel the deal, after which Musk appealed. However, he did not get the desired result here.

We do not yet know how Musk and Tesla will react to the final decision. Tesla disbanded its communications team years ago. If this final decision remains valid, there won’t be much left for Musk to do. He will either let his tweets be checked, or he will have to pay huge fines.


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