Judge to decide on reinstating Acosta's press pass on Thursday in CNN vs. Trump legal battle

  • Judge Timothy Kelly will decide at 3 p.m. ET on Thursday whether to impose a temporary restraining order, giving back Jim Acosta’s White House pass.
  • The CNN reporter was barred on November 8 for asking consecutive questions to Trump, despite an intern’s best efforts to stop him.
  • The US Justice Department stood by the ban saying: “No journalist has a First Amendment right to enter the White House.”

The Judge presiding over CNN’s lawsuit against the Trump administration said he will decide whether to impose a “temporary restraining order” to return Jim Acosta’s press pass, at 3 p.m. on Thursday.

On Wednesday, Judge Timothy J. Kelly heard the arguments for a “temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction” from CNN’s lawyers, and said he was have a decision on the restraining order at 3 p.m. on Thursday, CNN said.

The ban was imposed after Acosta asked a string of questions on November 7 which made Trump label him “a rude, terrible person.”

CNN’s lawsuit, submitted on Tuesday, asked for a “temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction that would restore his pass right away,” CNN said.

Lawyers also seek to prove that “the administration’s action was unconstitutional.”

CNN lawyers say the White House’s decision to remove Acosta’s pass broke the first and fifth amendments – read a full account of Wednesday’s court session here.

The lawsuit said: “Acosta’s questions to President Trump during that conference are and were all protected activities under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.”

The first amendment addresses the freedom of the press and a freedom from external interference on that speech.

The fifth amendment broadly stops a person from being detained without a valid indictment, but in this case CNN say it’s about the “administration’s failure to follow the federal regulations that pertain to press passes.”

On Wednesday the US Justice Department stood firm on its decision to revoke Acosta’s press pass, and said: “No journalist has a First Amendment right to enter the White House.”

“The president is generally free to open the White House doors to political allies, in the hopes of furthering a particular agenda, and he is equally free to invite in only political foes, in the hopes of convincing them of his position,” US Justice Department lawyers wrote in the 28-page document.

The White House also stood by the decision: “Mr. Acosta is no more or less special than any other media outlet or reporter with respect to the First Amendment,” a press statement said.


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On Wednesday, CNN rivals Fox News unexpectedly said they would would file an amicus brief – also known as a friend-of-the-court brief – with the US District Court in Washington, DC, in support of CNN.

In the statement, Fox News president Jay Wallace said: “Fox News supports CNN in its legal effort to regain its White House reporter’s press credential.”

Here’s the heated exchange which saw Acosta stripped of his pass:

Presiding Judge Kelly was appointed to his post by Trump in June 2017.

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