TikTok filed a lawsuit on Monday in the U.S. District Court of Montana to challenge the state’s ban of the social platform, as reported by The Wall Street Journal. The case was brought against the state Attorney General Austin Knudsen.
Montana’s governor signed the bill into law last week, just one month after it passed through the state legislature. It was met with immediate pushback — a group of creators quickly sued the state, calling the law unconstitutional. Now TikTok is suing the state directly with similar claims, stating in the lawsuit that Montana’s law violates the First Amendment. “Montana's ban abridges freedom of speech in violation of the First Amendment, violates the U.S. Constitution in multiple other respects, and is preempted by federal law,” the lawsuit reads.
We are challenging Montana’s unconstitutional TikTok ban to protect our business and the hundreds of thousands of TikTok users in Montana. We believe our legal challenge will prevail based on an exceedingly strong set of precedents and facts.— TikTokComms (@TikTokComms) May 22, 2023
The law prohibits the ByteDance-owned platform from operating in the state, as well as preventing Apple’s and Google’s app stores from listing the TikTok app for download. Although it isn't clear how Montana plans to enforce the ban, it states that violations will tally fines of $10,000 per day. However, individual TikTok users won’t be charged. You can read the full TikTok vs. Montana suit here (via NPR).