X Corp Seeks Supreme Court Intervention Over Trump's Twitter Data Disclosure

 June 4, 2024

X Corp is approaching the U.S. Supreme Court to prevent hidden court orders that compel social media companies to surrender user data without user notification.

Politico reported that last year, under a concealed legal order, X Corp shared data from former President Donald Trump's Twitter account with special counsel Jack Smith.

Federal courts in Washington, D.C., mandated Elon Musk's X Corp to relinquish numerous records from Trump's account to Smith, who is probing the former president's involvement in the January 6 Capitol attack.

The command was issued with a nondisclosure rule, thus denying Trump any opportunity to claim executive privileges or impede the data transmission.

The secretive nature of these subpoenas and the perceived infringement on First Amendment rights have propelled X Corp to challenge their legality.

The company argues that such actions stifle both company and user rights, voicing concerns through its legal battles that this overreach could set a dangerous precedent.

Government Secrecy and Corporate Challenges

Special Counsel Jack Smith said the records were vital for the investigation, yet their collection method has sparked extensive legal debates. After X Corp delayed the data handover, Federal District Judge Beryl Howell fined the company $350,000, a punitive action that further intensified the dispute.

X Corp’s legal defenses were criticized by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, which supported Judge Howell's original decision. However, the dissent from four conservative judges highlighted the exclusion of a debate on Trump's potential executive privilege, which they found questionable.

Before filing for a review by the nation’s highest court, the company was entangled in several similar legal skirmishes overseen by Chief U.S. District Judge James Boasberg concerning non-disclosure orders. These ongoing battles underscore a broader conflicted terrain where tech giants grapple with government demands for user information.

The Supreme Court's Crucial Decision Awaits

X Corp. is pushing the justices to assess whether it's lawful to oblige social media enterprises to share users' data with governmental authorities while simultaneously prohibiting them from alerting users. According to the company, Trump’s data potentially warranted a claim of executive privilege, complicating the issue further.

Judge Howell's imposition of a nondisclosure order reprimanded X Corp for its reluctance to share required materials swiftly. The substantial fine underscored the court's stern stance on compliance with judicial orders, regardless of the broader constitutional concerns raised.


X Corp is appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court to challenge hidden court orders that force social media companies to give up user data without informing the user.

Last year, under such an order, X Corp handed over data from Donald Trump's account to special counsel Jack Smith, who is investigating Trump's role in the January 6 Capitol riot. This move, done without Trump’s knowledge due to a nondisclosure rule, is seen by X Corp as a violation of First Amendment rights and they are contesting the legality of these secretive subpoenas to protect user and company rights.

About Victor Winston

Victor is a freelance writer and researcher who focuses on national politics, geopolitics, and economics.

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