In a filing in federal court in Manhattan, Musk also renewed his effort to quash a subpoena from the United States Securities Commission seeking details about whether he and Tesla are complying with their disclosure obligations. under the Consent Decree 2018.
The SEC is investigating Musk’s November 6, 2021 tweet, which asked his followers if he should sell 10% of his stake in Tesla to cover stock option tax bills. He has since sold about $16.4 billion of his shares in the electric car company.
In his Tuesday filing, Musk said requiring Tesla’s attorneys to verify some of his tweets was an unconstitutional prior restriction on his speech, violating the First Amendment.
“The (SEC) won’t let me be or let me be me, so let me see; They tried to shut me up,” Musk said, quoting Eminem’s 2002 song “Without Me.”
Eminem’s lyrics referenced the Federal Communications Commission, which had fined radio stations playing “The Real Slim Shady”, a song by Eminem that it deemed offensive in content.
Musk also said the SEC issued his subpoena in bad faith, and that it could not pursue a “fishing expedition” to harass him.
The SEC declined to comment.
She said Musk was not immune to scrutiny for his Tesla-related tweets, and should not be exempted from the 2018 deal because he found compliance “less practical than ‘he hadn’t hoped’.
This deal stemmed from Musk’s August 7, 2018 tweet that he had “secure funding” to potentially take Tesla private. Musk said on Tuesday that the tweet was truthful.
The case is overseen by US District Judge Alison Nathan. She won US Senate approval last week to become a federal appellate judge, and can continue to preside over cases she has already handled.
The case is SEC v Musk, US District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 18-08865.