In court filings, attorneys representing TikTok’s creators have said the ban is unconstitutional and that it violates their First Amendment rights. They also take issue with Montana’s supposed national security justification for the ban.
Montana does not have any power to make laws that advance what it believes should be the foreign policy or national security interests of the United States, nor may Montana ban an entire forum of communication based on its perceptions that some speech is shared through that forum, even though it is protected by the First Amendment. Dangerous,” the suit. “Montana can no more ban its residents from viewing or posting on TikTok than it can ban the Wall Street Journal because of who owns it or because of the ideas it publishes.”
In a day Fox NewsMontana Attorney General Austin Knudsen said legal challenges to the ban were expected. “There are some really important issues here that I think we probably need the federal courts to step in and answer for us here,” he said. “And that was part of our calculation in making that happen.”
The lawsuit is among the first legal challenges to the law, and will likely be watched closely as federal officials consider enforcement. Currently, Montana’s ban is scheduled to go into effect on January 1, 2024, though lawsuits challenging that may delay that timeline. TikTok itself has not commented on whether it plans to file its own lawsuit in Montana, but said in a statement after signing the law that it plans to “defend the rights of our users inside and outside of Montana.”