CNN & Trump Legal Battle Over Acosta Press Pass Expected To Be Decided By Judge Today

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Jim Acosta of CNN may have his White House press pass back as early as today.

According to Business Insider, Judge Timothy J. Kelly, who is presiding over CNN’s lawsuit against the Trump administration, will decide at 3 p.m. ET today on whether to “impose a temporary restraining order” that will result in the return of the reporter’s press pass.

Acosta lost his pass on November 7 after a heated battle with the president during a press conference over Trump’s word choice when discussing the caravan of Central American migrants heading towards the U.S.-Mexico border, during which the president labeled Acosta as “a rude, terrible person.” Acosta was barred from re-entering the White House later that night and hasn’t been allowed back ever since.

On Tuesday, CNN submitted a lawsuit asking for a “temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction” that would restore Acosta’s press pass immediately, the news network reported. CNN is also asking that the Trump-appointed judge deem that action unconstitutional, as their lawyers argue that it violates the First and Fifth Amendments.

The First Amendment addresses freedom of the press, while the Fifth “broadly” stops a person from being detained without a valid indictment, though the news network argues that in this case, it’s about “the administration’s failure to follow the federal regulations that pertain to press passes.”

Judge Kelly spent Wednesday hearing arguments over the proposed restraining order and injunction from Theodore Boutrous, the attorney representing the news network, and Justice Department attorney James Burnham, and announced before dismissing court that he would have his ruling by 3 p.m. this afternoon.

The U.S. Justice Department stood with its decision to deny Acosta and revoke his press pass, stating that “no journalist has a First Amendment right to enter the White House.”

In a 28-page document, the DOJ wrote that the president is “generally” and “equally free” to open up the White House to political foes and allies alike. The White House agreed, saying in a press statement that Acosta “is no more or less special than any other media outlet or reporter with respect to the First Amendment.”


Several news media outlets have announced their support of CNN, including rival network Fox News, who “unexpectedly” said yesterday that they would file an amicus brief with the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., also known as a “friend-of-the-court” brief.

“Fox News supports CNN in its legal effort to regain its White House reporter’s press credential,” Fox News president Jay Wallace said in a statement.

“While we don’t condone the growing antagonistic tone by both the President and the press at recent media avails, we do support a free press, access and open exchanges for the American people,” he said.