Judge dismisses Huawei suit challenging US government's equipment ban

The Chinese company challenged the constitutionality of elements of the National Defense Authorization Act last March.

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A Texas judge said Huawei's ability to contract with the federal government was "a privilege," not a constitutionally guaranteed right.

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A federal judge on Tuesday dismissed Huawei's lawsuit challenging the US government over a ban on its telecommunications equipment. Judge Amos Mazzant of the US District Court in East Texas ruled that the Congress had the power to restrict federal agencies from buying gear from the embattled Chinese company, the Wall Street Journal reported.

In his 57-page ruling, the judge wrote that contracting with the federal government is "a privilege," rather than a constitutionally guaranteed right.

Huawei's March 2019 suit centered on an addition to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that stopped US federal agencies and their contractors from buying "critical" telecom equipment from Huawei and other Chinese communications companies, including ZTE. 

The company argued that Congress failed to present "any evidence" for its ban, making it "unconstitutional" and needlessly punitive. However, US lawmakers have long argued that Huawei represents a national security risk due to its cozy relationship with the Chinese government -- a charge the company denies.

Huawei didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

First published Feb. 19, 2:43 a.m. PT.
Updates 3:03 a.m. PT: Adds more detail.