Court: U.S. District Court for the District of Montana, Missoula Division
Date Filed: Aug. 4, 2023
Background: In May 2023, Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte signed a bill banning the use of TikTok in the state, citing concerns that the video-sharing app is owned by a Chinese company.
TikTok and several content creators filed separate lawsuits to block the law from going into effect in 2024. (The lawsuits have since been consolidated and are being heard by the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana.) The plaintiffs argue that the law is unconstitutional.
Our Position: The district court should grant the plaintiffs’ request for a preliminary injunction.
- TikTok delivers crucial public benefits to journalists gathering and publishing the news.
- Statutes that single out individual communications platforms or foreclose an entire forum for gathering news pose an acute threat to press freedom.
Quote: “The Constitution requires the closest scrutiny of statutes that ‘single out’ individual media or communications companies, as well as laws that cut off access to an entire platform for gathering or publishing news or information. The TikTok ban does both — and its sweep is very far from narrowly tailored to any legitimate interest of the State of Montana.”