Montana recently banned the use of TikTok in their state and TikTok have now filed a lawsuit against the Attorney General of Montana. TikTok state that the ban is unconstitutional as it violates the right to free speech.
The lawsuit alleges that Montana’s ban violates the First Ammendment, the right to free speech, as the platform empowers users in Montana to communicate and express themselves. They state that the Ban is preempted by federal law as the ban is based on the State’s supposed concern about the security of US users data due to the Chinese government. However, foreign affairs and national security are matters that the US Constitution has exclusive authority over in the federal government, not the States.
TikTok have also said the ban violates the Commerce Clause of the US Constitution as the ban:
- Imposes a state specific ban on a communication platform with national and international scope
- Interferes with TikTok’s operation and availability to users in other States
- Risks disrupting the flow of travel and commerce between States.
The company have also come out and stated that the app is an important platform that users can express themselves on, they have implemented safeguards to moderate harmful content and protect minors, imposing the ban would cause TikTok irreparable harm.
TikTok have asked that the Court declares the ban unconstitutional and preempted by federal law, issue an order invalidating the ban, stops Montana from being able to enforce the ban and grant any other relief that the Court sees just, equitable and proper.
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