- A federal judge on Friday ordered the White House to restore the CNN reporter Jim Acosta’s press pass.
- The Trump administration revoked Acosta’s credentials last week after a combative exchange with President Donald Trump at a press conference.
- CNN then sued the Trump administration, arguing it had violated Acosta’s First Amendment and Fifth Amendment rights.
A federal judge on Friday granted CNN’s request for a temporary restraining order to restore the White House correspondent Jim Acosta’s press pass.
The Trump administration revoked Acosta’s credentials last week after a combative exchange at a press conference in which Acosta and President Donald Trump argued about a question Acosta asked.
Trump called Acosta a “rude, terrible person,” and a White House staffer attempted to grab the microphone from Acosta’s hand, though he twisted away from her.
CNN sued the Trump administration, arguing that revoking Acosta’s press pass violated the First Amendment right of freedom of the press, as well as CNN’s and Acosta’s Fifth Amendment right to due process.
The Trump administration pushed back, arguing that it has broad discretion over reporters’ White House press credentials and that the First Amendment doesn’t grant Acosta the right to enter the White House.
Though US District Judge Timothy Kelly’s order on Friday didn’t rule on whether Acosta’s constitutional rights had been violated, it said that revoking the pass had done “irreparable harm.”
Kelly’s order will remain in effect while CNN’s lawsuit proceeds. Outside the courthouse after the order, Acosta thanked his supporters.
“I want to thank all of my colleagues in the press who supported us this week,” he said. “And I want to thank the judge for the decision he made today. Let’s get back to work.”
The White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said in a statement later Friday morning that the White House would comply with the judge’s order and temporarily reinstate Acosta’s credentials.
“Today, the court made clear that there is no absolute First Amendment right to access the White House. In response to the court, we will temporarily reinstate the reporter’s hard pass,” Sanders said. “We will also further develop rules and processes to ensure fair and orderly press conferences in the future. There must be decorum at the White House.”
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