Judge Rules Against Trump In CNN's Lawsuit Over Jim Acosta Press Pass

A judge ruled on Nov. 16 in favor of CNN reporter Jim Acosta in a dispute with the Trump administration. (Reuters)

"A federal judge on Friday ruled in favor of CNN and reporter Jim Acosta in a dispute with President Trump, ordering the White House to temporarily restore the press credentials that the Trump administration had taken away from Acosta last week.

In a victory for the cable network and for press access generally, Judge Timothy J. Kelly granted CNN’s motion for a temporary restraining order that will prevent the administration from keeping Acosta off White House grounds.

The White House revoked the reporter’s press pass last week after a heated exchange between him and President Trump and a brief altercation with a press aide at a news conference. Acosta, CNN’s chief White House correspondent, is the first reporter with a so-called hard pass to be banned.

CNN sued President Trump and other White House officials on Tuesday over the revocation. Kelly’s ruling was the first legal skirmish in that lawsuit. It has the immediate effect of sending Acosta back to the White House, pending further arguments and a possible trial. The litigation is in its early stages, and a trial could be months in the future.

Kelly, whom Trump appointed to the federal bench last year, handed down his ruling two days after the network and government lawyers argued over whether the president had the power to exclude a reporter from the White House.

In his decision, Kelly ruled that Acosta’s First Amendment rights overruled the White House’s right to have orderly news conferences. Kelly said he agreed with the government’s argument that there was no First Amendment right to come onto the White House grounds. But, he said, once the White House opened up the grounds to reporters, the First Amendment applied..."

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