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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A federal court judge on Sunday granted TikTok's request for a temporary restraining order against a ban by the Trump administration.

Driving the news: Judge Carl Nichols on Monday unsealed his opinion, in which he concluded that the ban seeks to regulate the exchange of "informational materials" — something that's expressly exempted from the law laying out the emergency powers Trump invoked.

  • Nichols, a Trump appointee, also said it was "not plausible that the films, photos, art, or even personal information U.S. users share on TikTok fall within the plain meaning of the Espionage Act," another law Trump's order cited in setting out a national security rationale for a ban.

Why it matters: Americans will be able to continue downloading one of the country's most popular social media and entertainment apps — at least for now.

What TikTok is saying: "We're pleased that the court agreed with our legal arguments and issued an injunction preventing the implementation of the TikTok app ban. We will continue defending our rights for the benefit of our community and employees.

  • "At the same time, we will also maintain our ongoing dialogue with the government to turn our proposal, which the President gave his preliminary approval to last weekend, into an agreement."

What the White House is saying, via a statement from the U.S. Commerce Department: “The E.O. is fully consistent with the law and promotes legitimate national security interests. 

  • "The Government will comply with the injunction and has taken immediate steps to do so, but intends to vigorously defend the E.O. and the Secretary’s implementation efforts from legal challenges."

Here's the full text, via DocumentCloud.

Go deeper: White House pushes to uphold TikTok ban

Editor's note: This story has been updated to include material from the unsealed opinion.

Go deeper

Barrett declines to say whether a president can unilaterally delay election

Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett declined to tell the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday if she believes the president has the unilateral authority to delay an election, arguing that giving "off-the-cuff answers" would essentially make her a "legal pundit."

Why it matters: President Trump suggested he could delay the election earlier this year. But he has no authority to unilaterally do so under the Constitution. It would take a change in federal law to move the date of the election — which would have to be approved by both chambers of Congress.

2 hours ago - Podcasts

Former Georgia Gov. Roy Barnes on the Senate runoffs

The future of U.S. politics, and all that flows from it, is in the hands of Georgia voters when they vote in two Senate runoffs on January 5.

Axios Re:Cap digs into the election dynamics with former Georgia Gov. Roy Barnes, a Democrat who served between 1999 and 2003.

2 hours ago - Health

Cuomo orders emergency hospital protocols as COVID capacity dwindles

Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Photo: Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Monday that struggling state hospital systems must transfer patients to sites that are not nearing capacity, as rising coronavirus cases and hospitalizations strain medical resources.

Why it matters: New York does not expect to get the same kind of help from thousands of out-of-state doctors and nurses that it got this spring, Cuomo acknowledged, as most of the country battles skyrocketing COVID hospitalizations and infections.