Judge blocks Trump TikTok ban following legal challenge

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TikTok logo (Image credit: TikTok)

What you need to know

  • A judge has issued a preliminary ruling blocking President Trump's plan to ban TikTok in the U.S.
  • It comes after the administration was sued by three TikTok creators.
  • A judge said the U.S. government had phrased any potential security risk in the hypothetical, and that it was clear the ban would cause irreparable harm.

A U.S. federal judge has ruled in favor of blocking President Trump's proposed ban on TikTok in the U.S.

As Variety reports:

A federal judge has preliminarily blocked the Trump administration's ban on TikTok, which has been scheduled to take effect Nov. 12.The case was brought by three TikTok creators, who argued that President Trump's executive order directing a complete U.S. ban on the Chinese-owned short-form video app infringed their First Amendment rights to free expression. The White House has'claimed TikTok, because of its ties to China, represents a national security threat.

As the report notes, Judge Wendy Beetlestone ruled that the plaintiffs had demonstrated "a clear likelihood of irreparable harm", and that furthermore, the government's argument that the app posed a national security threat was "phrased in the hypothetical" and that the risk presented did not outweigh the public interest in stopping the move.

The proposed ban has been met by several legal challenges, and at least one judge has already ruled to block the move on the grounds the ban "likely exceeded" the lawful bounds of the President's power under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act. That decision is being appealed.

This particular suit was brought by three TikTok creators, Douglas Marland, Cosette Rinab, and Alec Chambers, according to the report:

[The three] filed suit against Trump and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on Sept. 18. They argued that because of the Nov. 12 ban, they would suffer irreparable harm based on the deprivation of their First Amendment rights.

TikTok's temporary CEO Vanessa Papas said the company was "deeply moved by the outpouring of support from our creators," and the lead attorney for the plaintiffs said they were "pleased" the judge had stopped the ban.

Stephen Warwick