Another Court Rules Trump’s WeChat/TikTok “Pronouncement” Is… Likely Unconstitutional.

There is still pending at this moment, another more general federal suit in Los Angeles, brought by the companies involved, which argues specifically that Trump has no legitimate power (despite his mindless bluster) to force US corporations negotiating an M&A transaction in the US, to pay blackmail to him, for any approval. He will lose there.

There is also a suit in federal court in San Francisco, which claims his purported order no. 13,943 would plainly violate US citizens’ first amendment rights. It would. Here’s the able Magistrate Judge’s order, overnight — 22 pages, in full — and a bit:

…[T]he ban (1) violates the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, (2) violates the Fifth Amendment, (3) violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, 42 U.S.C. § 2000bb(1)(a), (4) was not a lawful exercise of the President’s and the Secretary’s authority under the International Economic Emergency Powers Act (“IEEPA”) — which allows the President to prohibit “transactions” in the interest of national security — because the IEEPA, 50 U.S.C. § 1702(b)(1), does not allow them to regulate personal communications, and (5) violates the Administrative Procedures Act (“APA”) because the Secretary exceeded his authority under the IEEPA and should have promulgated the rule through the notice-and-comment rulemaking procedures in 5 U.S.C. § 553(b)….

The plaintiffs moved for a preliminary injunction and contend that they are likely to succeed, and have presented serious questions, on the merits of the First Amendment claim (and satisfied the other elements for preliminary-injunctive relief)….

WeChat — which serves as a virtual public square for the Chinese-speaking and Chinese American community in the United States and is (as a practical matter) their only means of communication — forecloses meaningful access to communication in their community and thereby operates as a prior restraint on their right to free speech that does not survive strict scrutiny. . . .

The court grants the plaintiffs’ motion for a nationwide injunction against the implementation of Executive Order 13,943….

Just as we’ve said, since the day he published this garbage — it is yet another stupidly lawless attempt either to extract money for his wall, or pander to his “know-nothings” base voters. It is… effectively at an end now, as of Sunday morning. Onward, smiling — to hand draw and create a sidewalk chalk “obstacle course” — at baby girl’s front walkway, for the coming clear, sunny week of distance schooling “recesses”.


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