US, TikTok seek December 6th fast-track ruling on potential ban

The US Justice Department and TikTok on Friday asked a US appeals court to set a fast-track schedule to review the legal challenges to Congress’ recently passed divest-or-ban bill.

The new law requires China-based ByteDance to divest TikTok's US assets by January 19th or face a ban in the US.

TikTok, ByteDance, and a group of TikTok content creators joined with the Justice Department in asking the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to rule by December 6th to be able to seek review from the Supreme Court if needed before the US deadline.

On Tuesday, a group of TikTok creators filed suit to block the law that could ban the app used by 170 million Americans, saying it has had "a profound effect on American life."

Last week, TikTok and parent company ByteDance filed a similar lawsuit, arguing that the law violates the US Constitution on several grounds including running afoul of First Amendment free speech protections.

"In light of the large number of users of the TikTok platform, the public at large has a significant interest in the prompt disposition of this matter," the US Justice Department and TikTok petitioners said.

TikTok said with a fast-track schedule it believes the legal challenge can be resolved without it needing to request emergency preliminary injunctive relief.

The law, signed by President Joe Biden on April 24th, gives ByteDance until January 19th to sell TikTok or face a ban. The White House says it wants to see Chinese-based ownership ended on national security grounds but not a ban on TikTok.

The parties asked the court to set the case for oral arguments as soon as practical during the September case calendar. The Justice Department said it may file classified material to support the national security justifications in secret with the court.

Earlier this week the Justice Department said the TikTok law "addresses critical national security concerns in a manner that is consistent with the First Amendment and other constitutional limitations."

The law prohibits app stores like Apple and Alphabet's Google from offering TikTok and bars internet hosting services from supporting TikTok unless ByteDance divests TikTok.

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