Judge Blocks Trump’s Order Banning TikTok Hours Before It Was Set to Go Into Effect

A federal judge blocked President Donald Trump’s executive order banning TikTok on Sunday, NPR reports.

Judge Carl Nichols of the DC District Court temporarily halted Trump’s ban ahead of Sunday’s midnight deadline. The ruling means that the Chinese video app can continue to operate until at least a full court hearing. A date has not been set.

Trump issued an executive order earlier this month banning the Apple and Android app stores from allowing downloads or updates for the app after the administration cited unclear security reasons for their concern over the social network.

TikTok argues Trump violated rights:

John Hall, an attorney for TikTok, said that Trump’s order threatened the company’s rights to free speech and due process.

"It would be no different than the government locking the doors to a public forum, roping off that town square," he said. "Telling two-thirds of the country, who are not members of this community, that you're not going to be permitted in. The government would be taking this extraordinary action at the very time that the need for free, open and accessible communication in America is at its zenith — 37 days before a national election."

"We will continue defending our rights for the benefit of our community and employees. At the same time, we will also maintain our ongoing dialogue with the government to turn our proposal, which the President gave his preliminary approval to last weekend, into an agreement," a TikTok spokeswoman said in a statement.

Trump admin vows to keep fighting:

The Commerce Department said it would delay the ban but vowed to fight the order.

"The E.O. is fully consistent with the law and promotes legitimate national security interests. The Government will comply with the injunction and has taken immediate steps to do so, but intends to vigorously defend the E.O. and the Secretary's implementation efforts from legal challenges," the department said in a statement.

Oracle and Walmart have reached a tentative deal to partner with the company in the US but the companies have since been at odds over the ownership structure.

The Trump administration and the Chinese government would have to sign off on any deal, which is in doubt.


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