Eager to run to court with others, Elon keeps trying to dodge the SEC

While apparently addicted to spending time with lawyers and in courtrooms, noted antisemite Elon "Pedo Guy" Musk keeps dodging the SEC.

The SEC and Elon have a long history together. After inappropriately using Twitter to manipulate Tesla's share price, Elon wound up under a settlement agreement where Tesla lawyers would henceforth review his social media communications before he could make them. Elon bristled but was unable to escape this order. However, he seemed not to be following it anyway. After Elon purchased Twitter, however, the SEC reached out about additional violations and failures to declare his interest in Twitter before the big kerfluffle purchasing it. Elon has been dodging them, but a Federal magistrate just ordered him to knock it off.

Over the weekend, the magistrate judge overseeing the case, said, um, no, that's not how this works, and ordering Musk to comply with the subpoena.

The court enforces the subpoena: the evidence is relevant and material to the SEC's investigation, and the testimony is not unduly burdensome. As to the argument that the subpoena exceeds the SEC's authority, the Exchange Act authorizes the subpoena, and the staff attorneys who issue subpoenas are not inferior officers subject to the Appointments Clause.

As the ruling notes, the SEC has broad subpoena authority and has documented reasons for seeking Musk's testimony. The idea that this was done in bad faith or to harass Musk just doesn't seem supported by the evidence:

Because the SEC issued its subpoena lawfully, the burden shifts to the respondent to prove that the subpoena was issued in bad faith or for an improper purpose, such as harassment or to pressure that person to settle a collateral dispute, Powell, 379 U.S. at 58, or is "overbroad or unduly burdensome," EEOC v. Children's Hosp. Med. Center, 719 F.3d 1426, 1428 (9th Cir. 1983). The respondent has not met this burden. He did not object to the subpoenas initially and asked only for an accommodation for his schedule. Only later did he object to the testimony as irrelevant and harassing, in part because he testified twice previously. The SEC's view is that the timing suggests gamesmanship. But in any event, the contemplated testimony is about productions that post-dated his testimony.