The White House announced Friday that it will comply with federal judge’s order to reinstate CNN correspondent Jim Acosta’s press credentials, but indicated it will be issuing rules of decorum going forward.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders responded to the ruling, saying, “(W)e will temporarily reinstate the reporter’s hard pass. 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.”
Sanders also claimed a partial victory, noting, “Today, the court made clear that there is no absolute First Amendment right to access the White House.”
— Jordan Fabian (@Jordanfabian) November 16, 2018
The Hill reported that U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly issued a temporary restraining order barring the White House from withholding Acosta’s credentials while the underlying case moves forward.
The judge said CNN’s case will likely be successful regarding Acosta’s Fifth Amendment right to due process under the law being violated by the Trump administration.
Sanders statement suggested that the issue will be addressed going forward by having clear rules in place to spell out appropriate conduct for White House reporters and the consequences and procedures for not following them.
Kelly did not rule on whether the Trump administration violated Acosta’s First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and the press by pulling his credentials.
The White House announced Acosta’s pass had been pulled after he got into a testy back-and-forth with Trump and then refused to surrender the microphone by pulling back as a White House intern sought to take it from him.
The Justice Department filed a brief in response to the CNN suit on Wednesday, contending, “No journalist has 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,” DOJ lawyers said in the court filing.
Sanders added in a statement the previous day, “The White House cannot run an orderly and fair press conference when a reporter acts this way, which is neither appropriate nor professional.”
President Trump to Jim @Acosta: “You should let me run the country. You run CNN.”
“That’s enough. Put down the mic. CNN should be ashamed of itself having you working for them. You are a rude terrible person.” pic.twitter.com/GR9TIbKUok
— CSPAN (@cspan) November 7, 2018
“The First Amendment is not served when a single reporter, of more than 150 present, attempts to monopolize the floor. If there is no check on this type of behavior it impedes the ability of the President, the White House staff, and members of the media to conduct business,” Sanders said.
White House Correspondents’ Association President Oliver Know welcomed Friday’s court ruling, saying, “a federal judge made it clear that the White House cannot arbitrarily revoke a press pass.”
“We thank all the news outlets and individual reporters who stood up in recent days tor the vital role a free and independent news media plays in our republic.”
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