Judge rules Acosta should get back press pass

Saturday, 17 Nov, 2018

After a U.S. District Judge ordered the White House to reinstate the revoked press pass for CNN's Jim Acosta, Donald Trump has informed reporters he is working on "new rules and regulations" for White House reporters.

CNN's suit alleged that Trump and other administration members violated Acosta's constitutional rights by preventing him from entering into and reporting on the White House.

Kelly, who was nominated by President Donald Trump, granted CNN's motion for a temporary restraining order that would overturn the ban of Acosta from the White House grounds.

CNN said in a statement it was "gratified with this result and we look forward to a full resolution in the coming days".

Trump added that "nobody believes in the First Amendment more than I do", citing CNN's allegation in a Tuesday lawsuit that the president and his key staff were crossing the line of freedom of speech in barring Acosta arbitrarily.

Ted Boutros, an attorney for CNN, said the news organization is "extremely pleased with the ruling today".

"Let's go back to work", Acosta told reporters after the hearing.

Shortly after the ruling, Acosta returned to the White House, telling fellow journalists that "this was a test".

"President Trump wants it to be a free-for-all", CNN's lawyer said.

Were CNN and Acosta's First and Fifth Amendment rights violated? But reporters must show respect, he said.

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But in court documents, the White House argued that the decision was make in order to preserve White House decorum and did not claim impropriety towards the intern.

The White House Correspondents' Association - which represents reporters from scores of different outlets - said the government's stance is "wrong" and "dangerous".

Speaking at the White House Friday afternoon, President Trump warned he will end press conferences earlier if decorum among reporters is not kept. The White House, he says, needs to establish such rules and follow them if it wants to take such actions.

Acosta attempted to ask another question about special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation and initially declined to give up a hand-held microphone to a White House intern.

"You can't take three and four questions".

In granting that, the judge ruled only on the Fifth Amendment guarantee of due process, essentially saying Acosta's pass was revoked without a clear procedure in place for how passes are gained and lost by a correspondent. On November 13, Ms. Sanders accused Mr. Acosta of being unprofessional by trying to dominate the questioning at the news conference.

The case had turned into a Rorschach test for Americans and how they view the press in the Trump era, with partisans picking sides on Twitter.

In a joint statement issued last week, the Associated Press, the New York Times, the Washington Post and others said they're joining the fight, as "reporters covering the White House must remain free to ask questions".

"This conduct is beyond reprehensible", said Sean Hannity on his Fox News broadcast.