TikTok’s Bold Move: Suing the US to Halt Ban, Experts Predict a Surprising Outcome

For a while, the fight to keep TikTok in the United States has continued. But last month, the bill passed would force ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, to sell TikTok and divest itself from the CCP, or face an outright ban.

The ban was included in the $95 billion package of foreign aid for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan. According to Rep. Ritchie Torres, (D-NY), the vote represents a “bipartisan breakthrough” against CCP’s strongest tool of information war against the United States.

Rumble, which is a cloud technology partner with TikTok, has already expressed an interest in the acquisition.

ByeDance hasn’t taken this ban lying down and is already mounting a defense.

According to the Associated Press, ByteDance filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Government, stating this is “obviously unlawful” and violates the First Amendment.

ByteDance’s suit stated that Congress had taken an unprecedented step by explicitly singling out TikTok, a vibrant, online forum used by more than 170 million Americans for creating, sharing, and viewing videos on the Internet. For the first time, Congress passed a law banning a specific speech platform from being used by all Americans. This ban is nationwide and permanent.

ByteDance’s parent company, TikTok, is required by law to sell its platform within nine months. The company has three more months to close the sale if one is already underway. ByteDance said that it has “no plans to sell TikTok.” However, if it did want to divest it would need Beijing’s blessing. Beijing has previously opposed forced sales of TikTok and has shown its opposition again.

TikTok believes that the U.S. government’s excuse that The Protecting Americans From Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act (PAFFACA) is a “regulation” of ownership is a ban. TikTok cannot be sold or divested anytime soon.

Although the battle is just beginning, some experts think TikTok stands a good chance to win.

The First Amendment says that the government cannot restrict Americans’ access from abroad to ideas, media, or information without a good reason. And there is no reason here, said Jameel Jaffer of the Knight First Amendment Institute, Columbia University.

Gautam Hans is a law professor at Cornell University and the associate director of their First Amendment Clinic. He sees that ByteDance‚Äôs lawsuit will be complicated, but also believes the U.S. law won’t hold up in court.

Gautam Hans is a law professor at Cornell University and the associate director of their First Amendment Clinic. He said that because of the bipartisan nature, judges may be more inclined to accept a Congressional decision that the company presents a risk to national security. It’s hard to understand why courts would validate such a law without a public discussion about the risks.

The opposition to the TikTok Ban was also bipartisan.

Leftists and conservatives have both expressed their opposition to the ban on First Amendment grounds. Various politicians were also not in favor of the ban. Thomas Massie said that the Republicans are helping the Democrats to control the internet.

The lawsuit will continue to be a highly contentious issue with no clear division of political opinion.