TikTok Wins Prelim. Injunction Against Montana Ban

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TikTok Wins Prelim. Injunction Against Montana Ban
TikTok Wins Prelim. Injunction Against Montana Ban

In a significant legal victory, TikTok and its user community have successfully obtained a preliminary injunction against a Montana law aiming to ban the popular social media app within the state’s borders. U.S. District Judge Donald W. Molloy ruled on Thursday that the statute overreaches state authority and potentially violates the First Amendment.

The Ban’s Overreach: Infringing on Federal Authority and Free Speech

The Montana TikTok ban, with its explicit focus on China as an adversary, likely intrudes on the United States’ foreign policy interests, thereby facing preemption under federal law. Judge Molloy highlighted that the law’s outright ban of TikTok not only limits First Amendment speech but also fails to pass even intermediate scrutiny review.

Montana’s Defense: Targeting Alleged Foreign Threats

Defending the ban as a consumer protection measure, Montana’s legislature and attorney general aimed to shield residents from China’s alleged influence via TikTok. However, Judge Molloy noted that the record leans heavily towards the state targeting China rather than protecting consumers.