- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 8, 2020

A second federal judge has issued a preliminary injunction blocking the Trump administration’s restrictions on TikTok, the China-owned social media app, as the controversy speeds toward oral arguments in a federal appeals court next week.

U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols in D.C. granted the temporary blockade on Monday against all of the Trump administration’s restrictions on TikTok. In September, Judge Nichols issued an order blocking the Trump administration’s decision to halt TikTok’s distribution via Apple and Google’s app stores.

Judge Nichols is the second federal judge to order a halt affecting all of the Trump administration’s actions against TikTok, following U.S. District Judge Wendy Beetlestone’s order in October.

Judge Beetlestone’s order was in response to a lawsuit brought by TikTok users in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, while Judge Nichols’ case in D.C. was responding to litigation from TikTok and its China-based owner ByteDance.

Next week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia is scheduled to hear oral arguments in TikTok’s lawsuit against the Trump administration before a three-judge panel. The Dec. 14 arguments in TikTok and ByteDance v. Trump are set to be heard by two judges appointed by former President Barack Obama and one judge appointed by former President Bill Clinton.

TikTok turned to the federal appeals court in November after the company said it received no clarity on whether the Trump administration would accept TikTok’s proposed solutions to alleviate the federal government’s concerns.

• Ryan Lovelace can be reached at rlovelace@washingtontimes.com.

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