The filing also marks a stark reversal by the government in a legal challenge against Trump’s ban brought by a US-based TikTok employee.
The employee, Patrick Ryan, had requested a temporary restraining order from Judge Vince Chhabria that would block the Trump administration from enforcing the ban against worker wages.
Yet two days later, the Justice Department reversed course, outlining how Trump’s ban will not affect Ryan’s wages, or those of his colleagues, after all. The filing said that if and when Trump’s TikTok ban goes into effect after Sept. 20, the Commerce Department will not define prohibited transactions under Trump’s executive order to include “otherwise lawful actions that are part of [employees’] regular job duties and responsibilities.”
A hearing on Tuesday that was scheduled for parties to debate a potential temporary restraining order has since been canceled, indicating that the judge may no longer intend to consider one.
Alexander Urbelis, an attorney representing Ryan, said that the case’s broader claims about the legality of Trump’s order still stand, and will continue to be litigated in the case.
“The broader issue here is whether Trump’s executive order is constitutional at all,” Urbelis said. “We plan on pursuing the residual issue.”