Judge Blocks Trump Administration's TikTok Ban

Siding with TikTok content creators, a federal judge has prohibited the government from enforcing an executive order by President Trump that would have effectively shut down the social video app in the U.S.

In a ruling issued Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Wendy Beetlestone in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania said Trump's order wasn't authorized by the International Emergency Economic Powers Act. That law allows the president to declare a national emergency and restrict some -- but not all -- transactions with foreign countries.

The law specifically does not authorize the president to regulate “informational material,” including photos and news feeds.

A different judge, U.S. District Court Judge Carl Nichols in Washington, D.C., previously blocked a more limited restriction that would have prohibited platforms from offering downloads of the app, owned by ByteDance. The government has appealed that ruling to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.



Beetlestone's broader injunction bans all of the restrictions the government had attempted to impose on TikTok.

Her ruling stemmed from a lawsuit brought by three influencers -- Douglas Marland, Cosette Rinab and Alec Chambers -- who alleged they rely on income from TikTok.

Chambers said he earned $12,000 for promoting the Extra gum on the platform, while Rinab -- who creates fashion videos -- earns between $5,000 and $10,000 per video.

Beetlestone said in the ruling that the trio was likely to suffer irreparable harm if the order went into effect.

In August, Trump said the company posed a security risk and mandated a ban on all U.S. transactions with the company.

The Commerce Department subsequently issued an order implementing that ban.

The provisions that would have effectively shut down the app in the U.S. were scheduled to take effect November 12.

Oracle and Walmart recently agreed to purchase stakes in TikTok, but the structure of the tentative deal remains unclear.

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