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Judge rejects Musk’s claim that limits on his tweets violate First Amendment

Enlarge / Elon Musk talks to members of the media while leaving federal court in New York on Thursday, April 4, 2019.

A federal judge has rejected Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s attempt to get out of a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission that requires Tesla to impose limits on Musk’s social media statements.

The judge also rejected Musk’s request to quash portions of an SEC subpoena that seeks documents related to whether he got pre-approval before posting a recent tweet about Tesla stock sales. The ruling against Musk was issued Wednesday by Judge Lewis Liman in US District Court for the Southern District of New York.

“Musk was not forced to enter into the consent decree” with the SEC, and he “cannot now seek to retract the agreement he knowingly and willingly entered by simply bemoaning that he felt like he had to agree to it at the time but now—once the specter of the litigation is a distant memory and his company has become, in his estimation, all but invincible—wishes that he had not,” Liman wrote. The judge also called Musk’s claim that the SEC is harassing him “meritless.”

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