A federal judge appointed by President Donald Trump ruled Friday that the White House must immediately reinstate the press credentials of CNN reporter Jim Acosta.
Judge Timothy J. Kelly said the Trump administration had clearly violated Acosta’s Fifth Amendment right to due process, noting that the White House’s arguments for banning Acosta were “hardly sufficient to satisfy” any semblance of due process.
Judge is explaining that the White House did not provide due process. He describes the process as “so shrouded in mystery that the government could not tell me…. who made the decision.”
— Paul McLeod (@pdmcleod) November 16, 2018
Following the ruling, Acosta thanked reporters who had stood in solidarity with him and commented:
“Let’s get back to work.”
CNN issued a statement which read:
“We are gratified with this result and we 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.”
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders yanked Acota’s press pass after he refused to hand over a microphone to an administration aide during a press conference at which President Donald Trump chastised Acosta for daring to question the president’s remarks that a caravan of Central American immigrants was “an invasion” of the U.S. even though the people were seeking legal asylum in the United States.
“A Justice Department official argued Wednesday that President Donald Trump has complete discretion over press access to the White House, and can kick out any reporter — or all reporters, for that matter — for any reason.
“Lawyers from the Justice Department and CNN sparred in federal court in Washington, DC, over the network’s bid to reinstate chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta’s hard pass access, which was revoked after a tense exchange with Trump at a press conference on Nov. 7.”
But the White House Correspondents’ Association said such an argument is a clear violation of the First Amendment, writing in a legal brief:
“Simply stated, if the President were to have the absolute discretion to strip a correspondent of a hard pass, the chilling effect would be severe and the First Amendment protections afforded journalists to gather and report news on the activities on the President would be largely eviscerated.”
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