TikTok Employee Files Motion That Could Mark First Judicial Look At Trump’s Executive Order

By 09/04/2020
TikTok Employee Files Motion That Could Mark First Judicial Look At Trump’s Executive Order

A TikTok employee named Patrick Ryan is taking an individual stand against President Donald Trump’s executive order, which would see a nationwide ban of the app unless Chinese parent company Bytedance were to divest TikTok’s U.S. assets before Sept. 20.

Last night, Ryan filed an injunction motion to stop the Department Of Commerce from enforcing Trump’s order insomuch as it would prohibit TikTok from paying salaries to its employees in the U.S., per The Hollywood Reporter. The injunction seeks to have a judge reach a preliminary conclusion about the legality of the executive order.

Ryan is a technical program manager at TikTok based in California, and first filed suit against President Trump and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on Aug. 24 — the same day that TikTok sued the Trump administration. The Reporter notes, however, that while TikTok has yet to file paperwork for an injunction, Ryan has. He is being represented by Blackstone Law Group, and U.S. district court judge Vince Chhabria will set the schedule for future briefings, which could mark the first judicial look at the order.

Ryan’s motion alleges that Trump’s order is motivated by anti-China bias, and also suggests that the President harbors bitterness because TikTokers allegedly sought to sabotage one of his rallies in Tulsa.

The motion, which can be read in full right here, also argues that the executive order deprives Ryan of his “constitutionally recognized ‘property’ interest in his job and salary without notice or an opportunity to be heard” as well as his “constitutionally recognized ‘liberty’ interest in pursuing his employment of choice.” It also argues that the order discriminates against Ryan based on his employment by a “so-called ‘Chinese’ company,” is constitutionally vague, and exceeds the President’s authority.

Ryan — who is also a lawyer — has been at TikTok for just five months, arriving after roughly a decade at Google. He is raising money for the suit online, and though TikTok is not officially a part of his legal efforts, the company is not discouraging him, NPR reports.