TikTok creators sue Montana over app ban | CNN Business
A group of TikTok users has petitioned to overturn Montana’s new state ban on blocking the app, claiming the law signed this week by Gov. Greg Gianforte violates the First Amendment.
The complaint filed Wednesday evening, hours after the governor’s signature, compares TikTok to other types of media by asserting that the state lacks the authority to prevent Montanans from accessing and creating legal speech.
“Montana cannot prohibit its residents from viewing or posting on TikTok any more than the Wall Street Journal could be prohibited because of who owns it or the ideas it publishes,” said the complaint, filed by five TikTok creators, including a small swimwear business. a rancher and a former Marine sergeant.
The lawsuit marks what may be the first challenge to a controversial ban that goes far beyond restrictions that Montana and other states have already enacted to ban TikTok on official government devices. The new ban seeks to ban TikTok from operating in the state and block downloads of TikTok on personal devices, but will not penalize people for using TikTok. Currently, the ban will take effect in January.
A spokesman for Gianforte did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In addition to the First Amendment claims, the suit argues that Montana’s ban deprives TikTok users of many other rights without due process, in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment.
It also alleges that the ban unconstitutionally conflicts with federal authority to set foreign policy and to oversee interstate commerce. And he claims the ban undercuts the federal government’s powers under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.
CNN has reached out to the Montana attorney general for comment.