Amid Musk investigation, Brazil’s highest court says “all companies are subject to the constitution”

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BRASILIA (Reuters) – The president of Brazil’s Supreme Court said on Monday that all companies operating in the country are “subject to the constitution”, after one of the court’s judges opened an investigation into the platform’s owner of social networks X, Elon Musk.

Supreme Court President Luis Roberto Barroso said in a statement that judicial decisions can be subject to appeal, but never for deliberate non-compliance, after Musk challenged a court decision ordering X, formerly known as Twitter, to block certain accounts.

Barroso did not mention X or any other company by name.

“It is true that each and every one of the companies that operate in Brazil are subject to the Federal Constitution, the laws and the decisions of the Brazilian authorities,” Barroso said in the statement.

Musk’s comments prompted Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes to open an investigation into the billionaire on Sunday.

In an X post on Saturday night, the billionaire accused Moraes of “blatantly and repeatedly” betraying the Constitution and the people of Brazil.

Moraes is investigating “digital militias” that have been accused of spreading fake news and hate messages during the government of far-right former president Jair Bolsonaro and is also leading an investigation into an alleged coup attempt by Bolsonaro.

In Monday’s statement, Barroso said that “the Supreme Court has acted and will continue to act to protect Brazil’s institutions.”

X did not immediately respond to requests for comment sent Monday.

Brazil’s Institutional Relations Minister Alexandre Padilha, the most senior member of Lula’s cabinet who has commented on the matter so far, said the “attack” on Moraes is “unacceptable.”

“It is not just an individual judge who is being attacked; it is the Supreme Court of Brazil and all those who defend the sovereignty of our country,” Padilha said in X.

(Reporting by Ricardo Brito in Brasilia; additional reporting by Maria Carolina Marcello; writing by Andre Romani; editing by Gabriel Araujo, Chris Reese and Aurora Ellis)

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