(NEW YORK)— PEN America has joined an amicus brief to support a federal lawsuit challenging the law that would ban TikTok throughout the United States starting in January 2025. The suit argues that the ban adopted this year by Congress and signed into law by President Biden violates the First Amendment.

The amicus brief, led by the Knight First Amendment Institute and also joined by advocacy group Free Press, supports TikTok in TikTok v. Garland, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.  

In its legal filing on Thursday, the three organizations argue that the Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act prevents users from accessing the content of their choice and echoes tactics of restricting information long been associated with repressive governments. The brief also argues that there are less restrictive alternatives available to address propaganda and disinformation.

“PEN’s charter pledges fidelity to ‘the principle of unhampered transmission of thought’ and affirms that literature and ideas should know “no frontiers and must remain common currency,’” said Eileen Hershenov, deputy chief executive officer and counsel. “This act is exactly the kind of suppression of thought and ideas across borders that our organization was created to combat. PEN America is proud to join the Knight Institute and Free Press in urging the court to enjoin this blanket exercise of government censorship before it goes into effect.”

PEN America has previously spoken out against the federal legislation banning TikTok.

About PEN America

PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect free expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible. Learn more at pen.org.

Contact: Suzanne Trimel, [email protected], 201-247-5057