Judge Orders White House to Restore Acosta’s Press Pass in Narrow Ruling

April FrancisNov 17, 2018

Government attorneys contend that Acosta's conduct prevented the White House from conducting an orderly news conference and suspending his White House press pass does not violate the Constitution.

A judge recently ordered that Trump and his administration restore the pass while the lawsuit with CNN goes on. So we're setting up a certain standard which is what the court is requesting and always be fair to the press, always First Amendment, but that's the way it is.

Kelly's decision is temporary and further hearings are expected to take place in the next few weeks to determine whether or not yanking the credential violated CNN's and Acosta's First and Fifth Amendment rights.

The White House revoked Acosta's credentials last week in an escalation of the Republican President's attacks on the news media, which he had dubbed the "enemy of the people". Trump addressed Acosta' behavior at the time, telling the reporter directly that "CNN should be ashamed of itself having you work for them".

The White House's explanations for why it seized Acosta's credentials have shifted over the last week.

The president, who regularly denigrates reporting he does not like as "fake news, repeatedly has singled out CNN for particular criticism".

But Trump's lawyers replied Wednesday in a legal filing that he has "broad discretion" to police journalists' access to the White House.

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Trump has made his dislike of CNN clear since before he took office and continuing into his presidency. At issue was whether U.S. Constitutional guarantees of freedom of the press and due process overcome the president's ability to decide who has access to the White House.

The White House Correspondents Association (WHCA) had expressed its concern over the Trump administration's decision to arbitrarily suspend Acosta's White House press pass, warning that it sets a "dangerous precedent". But right now, the White House has no alternative than to let Acosta back on the beat.

This does not mean the White House face off with the media or CNN in particular is going to wane. But, he said, once the White House opened up the grounds to reporters, the First Amendment applied. White House press briefings have become increasingly rare but they're seen as one of the few opportunities to ask the administration questions.

He also agreed with CNN's argument that the White House did not provide due process.

On Tuesday, Sanders accused Acosta in a written statement of being unprofessional by trying to dominate the questioning at the news conference.

The president echoed the need for decorum hours after the ruling, telling reporters they can't stand up and ask three or four questions while refusing to sit down. The network received the support of multiple other news organizations, including Fox News, in the form of amicus briefs filed with the court.

Exit quotation from Andrew Egger, recognizing the real victor today: "Acosta's tedious furrowed-brow posturing and spotlight-hogging and his fixation on Trump's meanness to the press are all catnip to a president who loves nothing more than to tell his fans that that's what journalists are all about".

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