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Judge Orders White House To Reinstate Jim Acosta's Press Pass


A federal judge on Friday ordered the White House to temporarily reinstate CNN's chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta's press pass.

U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Kelly ruled the White House deprived Acosta of "due process" when his press credentials were suspended last week.

Kelly, who was nominated to the District Court in Washington, D.C. by President Donald Trump, granted CNN's request for a temporary restraining order and ordered the cable news network and the White House to file a joint status report on how to proceed in the case.

In a statement, CNN and Acosta said they were gratified by Kelly's ruling and look forward to a full resolution in the coming days.

"Our sincere thanks to all who have supported not just CNN, but a free, strong and independent American press," CNN and Acosta said.

Meanwhile, a statement from White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders noted 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."

Acosta's press credentials were suspended last week after he had a tense exchange with Trump during the president's post-election press conference.

During the press conference, Trump denounced Acosta as a "terrible person" and called "fake news" reported by CNN the "enemy of the people."

In a filing with the court on Wednesday, the White House claimed to have "broad discretion" to regulate access by journalists, arguing journalists do not have a First Amendment right to enter the White House.

"The President and White House possess the same broad discretion to regulate access to the White House for journalists (and other members of the public) that they possess to select which journalists receive interviews, or which journalists they acknowledge at press conferences," the White House said.

The White House filing claimed the revocation of Acosta's press pass was due to the reporter "disrupting press proceedings" rather than CNN's coverage of the president.

Several news organizations expressed support for CNN's lawsuit, calling it "imperative" that independent journalists have access to the president and his activities.

(Photo: Gage Skidmore)

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