Home Science Technology U.S. and TikTok Seek Fast-Track Court Ruling on New Divestiture Law

U.S. and TikTok Seek Fast-Track Court Ruling on New Divestiture Law

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Tiktok Music Image Source: dittomusic.com

The U.S. Justice Department and TikTok have jointly requested the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to expedite the review of legal challenges against a new law mandating the divestiture of TikTok’s U.S. assets by China-based ByteDance.

The law, which could result in a ban on TikTok if the divestiture is not completed by January 19, 2024, has prompted legal action from both TikTok and its parent company ByteDance, as well as a group of TikTok content creators.

The parties have asked the court to issue a ruling by December 6 to allow sufficient time for an appeal to the Supreme Court, if necessary, before the divestiture deadline. The request highlights the significant public interest given TikTok’s 170 million American users and the app’s impact on American life.

TikTok and ByteDance have argued that the law infringes upon the U.S. Constitution, particularly the First Amendment’s free speech protections. They believe that with a fast-track schedule, the legal challenge can be resolved without needing to seek emergency preliminary injunctive relief.

The law in question, signed by President Joe Biden on April 24, 2023, requires ByteDance to sell TikTok by January 19 or face a ban on the app. The White House has cited national security concerns as the basis for the law, aiming to end Chinese ownership of TikTok without banning the app outright.

The Justice Department has indicated it may submit classified materials to justify the national security concerns in secret. It also asserts that the law is consistent with the First Amendment and other constitutional requirements.

The law also impacts app stores and internet hosting services, prohibiting them from offering or supporting TikTok unless ByteDance complies with the divestiture requirement. The measure was rapidly passed by Congress amid bipartisan fears that the Chinese government could use TikTok to access data on American users or conduct surveillance.

The parties have urged the court to schedule oral arguments for the earliest possible date in September to expedite the resolution of this matter.

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