A second judge in the United States has granted a preliminary injunction blocking the Trump administration’s attempted ban on TikTok.
Washington-based US District Judge Carl Nichols made the decision late Monday. This followed US judge Wendy Beetlestone in Pennsylvania making a similar ruling in late September. Trump’s ban would have stopped Apple and Google from offering TikTok downloads in their respective app stores.
Nichols said that the Trump administration’s Commerce Department has “acted in an arbitrary and capricious manner by failing to consider” alternatives to the ban.
Nichols’ injunction will stop users fleeing TikTok for a rival app. The judge noted that this would cause “irreparable harm” to TikTok. The court noted that:
“If the app was shut down (even briefly) but that shutdown was later held to be unlawful, TikTok would not be able to recover the harm to its user base.”
The preliminary injunction could be appealed by the US appeals court on December 14.
Donald Trump vs. TikTok
Trump’s battle to ban TikTok from the United States is one of the more unusual battles the president has fought. Initially, Trump threatened to ban TikTok if it was not sold to an American company by September 15. Months on, appeals continue to be waged and there’s no sign of TikTok disappearing. Just the opposite, in fact: Despite Judge Carl Nichols’ concerns about people fleeing TikTok, the app is more popular than ever. Last month marked yet another month when the app was the top-performing app in the App Store.
The big question now is whether this issue will be settled by the time that that Trump leaves office in January. (Provided that is what happens.)