TikTok creators file lawsuit to challenge Montana’s ban on the app

Credit: Solen Feyissa

After Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte enacted a TikTok ban, there is now the first legal challenge.

The ban won’t go into effect until January 1, but law firm Davis Wright Tremaine has already filed an unconstitutionality lawsuit. The law firm represented Plaintiffs who use the social network and have “created a significant audience, tuning in by the thousands to stream and engage with their content.”

“Plaintiffs are bringing this lawsuit to protect their rights to post, display and share content through TikTok, protect access to their TikTok followers, and avert irreparable harm they will suffer if SB 419 becomes effective,” says the lawsuit reads.

“Montana has no authority to legislate that it believes furthers United States foreign policy or national security interests, nor may Montana ban an entire forum for communications because it believes some speech shared through that forum.” , although protected by, are protected by.” “The First Amendment is dangerous,” it continues. “Montana can no more ban its residents from viewing or posting on TikTok than the Wall Street Journal could ban because of who owns it or the ideas it publishes.”

The lawsuit representing TikTok Creators against the Montana ban seeks to declare the statute “void under the United States Constitution” but seeks only “reasonable costs and attorneys’ fees incurred in bringing the lawsuit.” Court. The state has not yet commented on the lawsuit, and this is the first legal challenge to the law as amended.

Montana is the first state in the union to seek to ban TikTok over what it calls “foreign ownership” and its ability to influence with algorithms. TikTok’s Chinese owner, ByteDance, has come under fire in recent years for giving its employees backdoor access to American data — even after Project Texas was supposed to prevent it. Lead counsel in this case is Ambika Kumar, who represented TikTok creators against Trump’s 2020 TikTok ban.