Cable News Network (CNN) Chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta smiles as he departs after a judge temporarily restored Acosta’s White House press credentials following a hearing at U.S. District Court in Washington, U.S., November 16, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. judge on Friday temporarily restored White House press credentials to CNN correspondent Jim Acosta, which were revoked following a contentious press conference with President Donald Trump, saying there should be a due process in place for limiting a journalist’s access to the White House.
U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly, who is hearing CNN’s lawsuit challenging the revocation, ordered the White House to restore Acosta’s press pass while the case is pending.
“Let’s go back to work,” Acosta said to reporters after the hearing.
CNN said in a statement it “looked forward to a full resolution in the coming days” and thanked “all who have supported not just CNN, but a free, strong and independent American press.”
Kelly did not address the First Amendment’s protections for freedom of speech and the press, but instead focused on due process provisions of the Constitution that provide for fair treatment through a judicial process.
The White House revoked Acosta’s credentials last week in an escalation of the Republican president’s attacks on the news media, which he has dubbed the “enemy of the people.”
In court, U.S. government lawyers said there is no First Amendment right of access to the White House and that Acosta was penalized for acting rudely at the conference and not for his criticisms of the president.
Reporting by Jan Wolfe; Additional reporting by Makini Brice; Writing by Lisa Lambert; Editing by Susan Thomas