Trump “Likely Exceeded” His Legal Authority By Trying To Ban TikTok

Things are not looking good for the Trump administration. The judge who on Sunday halted the TikTok ban dropped this on President Trump yesterday:

The federal judge who blocked the White House’s ban on TikTok downloads in the U.S. Sunday night said the Trump administration “likely exceeded the lawful bounds” of the powers afforded to the president under the the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.

President Trump invoked the IEEPA in his executive order to ban TikTok, the short-form video app owned by Chinese internet giant ByteDance, in the United States. The law is designed to let the president take emergency action to prohibit business transactions with an entity that represents “an unusual and extraordinary threat, which has its source in whole or substantial part outside the United States, to the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States.”

However, the IEEPA includes two exceptions — both of which apply to TikTok, U.S. District Court Judge Carl Nichols of the District of Columbia wrote in his opinion, which was unsealed Monday.

And:

As cited by the judge, the IEEPA does not give the president authority to regulate or prohibit, either directly or indirectly, “the importation or exportation of ‘information or informational materials” or “personal communication[s], which do[] not involve a transfer of anything of value.”

Well…. That’s not good if you are President Trump. And it may mean that TikTok may live on in the US. While I expect this to play out in court this week, I also have a sneaking suspicion that the Trump administration may end up losing this fight in the end.

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