Judge Tells White House to Give Jim Acosta His Press Pass Back

By William Vogeler, Esq. on November 16, 2018 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

To its credit, CNN reported the news straight: "Judge Orders White House to Return Jim Acosta's Press Pass."

The news agency could have spun the story much differently because Acosta works for CNN. The headline could have read: "Judge Schools Trump on the First Amendment," or "Acosta Beats Trump in Whitehouse Throwdown."

But no, there was no fake news to sensationalize the report. The judge granted a temporary restraining order against the president.

Trump's Response

After the ruling, President Trump held a press conference. He said the White House would create new "rules and regulations" for reporters to "practice decorum."

"It's not a big deal," he told Fox News. "What they said, though, is that we have to create rules and regulations for conduct."

It became a big deal a week earlier after the president and the reporter had an epic argument, which spiraled out of control. A presidential aide tried to take the microphone from Acosta, and Trump revoked Acosta's press pass.

That led to a lawsuit and a viral video, which the White House released of the incident. According to Washington Post, the video was doctored to make it appear that Acosta swiped at the aide.

"Likely Untrue"

Judge Timothy Kelly, a Trump appointee, granted CNN's request for a restraining order pending resolution of the lawsuit. CNN alleges the president violated Acosta's First Amendment and Due Process rights.

Justice Department lawyers argued that the president acted lawfully and had "broad discretion to regulate journalists' access to the White House." Spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders also accused Acosta of "placing his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job."

In his ruling, Kelly said Sanders' story was "likely untrue." He also said the White House gave its reasons for suspending Acosta's credentials after the fact.

"Those belated efforts were hardly sufficient to satisfy due process," Kelly said.

Related Resources:

Copied to clipboard