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Montana Judge Blocks TikTok Ban

Caleb Benjamin
Friday, December 1, 2023, 2:26 PM

The preliminary injunction stated that the ban was “unlikely to even pass intermediate scrutiny.”

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On Nov. 30, Judge Donald W. Molloy of the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana blocked Montana’s TikTok ban in a preliminary injunction. The ban was set to go into effect Jan. 1. Judge Molloy ruled that the plaintiffs—TikTok and five Montana-based TikTok creators—would likely “succeed on the merits.” 

The plaintiffs argued the ban violates users’ First Amendment rights, is preempted by federal national security law, and violates the Commerce Clause. Judge Molloy agreed, writing in the injunction that the ban “is unlikely to pass even intermediate scrutiny” regarding First Amendment concerns and that “Montana’s legislature and Attorney General were more interested in targeting China’s ostensible role in TikTok than with protecting Montana consumers.”

A trial date has not yet been scheduled.

You can read the injunction here or below: 

Caleb Benjamin was Lawfare's fall 2023 editorial intern. He holds a B.A. with high honors in government from Dartmouth College.

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