US Judge Temporarily Restores White House Press Pass to CNN’s Jim Acosta

Updated 11/16/2018, 11:48 a.m. EST:

WASHINGTON – A U.S. judge on Friday temporarily restored White House press credentials to CNN correspondent Jim Acosta, which were revoked after 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.”

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Kelly, a Trump appointee, did not address the First Amendment’s protections for freedom of speech and the press, but instead focused on a due process provision of the U.S. Constitution that provides for fair treatment through a judicial or administrative process.

“Whatever process occurred within the government is still so shrouded in mystery that the government at oral argument could not tell me who made the initial decision to revoke Mr. Acosta’s press pass,” Kelly said in his verbal ruling.

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.

The judge said White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ initial statement that Acosta was penalized for touching a White House staffer attempting to remove his microphone was “likely untrue and at least partly based on evidence that was of questionable accuracy.”

Sanders accused Acosta of “placing his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job as a White House intern” and of preventing other reporters from asking questions at the news conference. She called his behavior “absolutely unacceptable” and said his White House press pass would be suspended “until further notice.”

(Reporting by Jan Wolfe; Additional reporting by Makini Brice; Writing by Lisa Lambert; Editing by Susan Thomas)


  1. This should be an interesting case to keep an eye on. Today’s ruling only addresses the Fifth Amendment question on Acosta’s right to due process. The larger question — whether or not the administration has the authority to revoke the credentials in the first place — has not been settled quite yet.

    1. Yes, but is there an actual need for due process?
      I’d like to see how this might be applied to lesser governmental settings.

      Will Judge Kelly simply allow free access to his chambers pending due process? Where are his protocols?

      In the real world. Acosta’s behavior makes him an asshole. Social mechanisms used to take care of such people. Now it’s a matter for the courts.

    2. The Tenth Amendment addresses due process, the Fith Amendment addresses your right to not self-incriminate…….

  2. So a judge orders you allow that drunk relative over for Thanksgiving or that the drunk in Baltimore should be allowed to stand at every performance and yell “Heil Hitler, Heil Trump!” They have 1st amendment rights too.

    Real world solution: the WH completely ignores Acosta. Completely. They should have done this from the start.

    1. C’mon Screw, you’re smarter than that. Did you not read or understand the ruling? You continue to attempt to make crazy connections that have nothing to do with due process or the 1st Amendment. Your last paragragraph is the only reasonable part of your comment.

      1. Michael, the judge’s ruling is preliminary and narrow. It temporarily stays suspension of Acosta’s pass BUT does not address the 1st amendment issues brought up by CNN’s lawsuit.

        While I agree with the judge that there should be hard and fast rules for the press’s behavior, decorum and professionalism have worked. Up until now.

        Q: if a guest acts out in your house are you entitled to throw that guest out? Do you need to post rules of entry first? Should a judge be able to force you to

          1. You are conflating using government and private property. I agree with Michael, you are smarter than you want Trumpsters to know. What is up with that?

  3. Why? It is NOT a first ammendment question. He can still write whatever he wants whether ”it’s true or not, like he always has. Anyone disrupting like he does should be tossed out.If they can’t follow the rules just cancel the briefings and release a statement each week. Look what Trump has accomplished with all this crap, think of what he could get done without this kind of harassment 24/7

  4. This man has disrupted and disrespected the president and his administration numerous times he isn’t there to ask legitimate questions on behalf of the American people he is there to argue he despises this president along with CNN who is nothing more then a cheap tabloid broadcast that spreads hate and divisiveness and lies . And to have a judge go against the White House on this. Make my stomach turn .

    1. You seem to misunderstand the role of the press. I disagree with Acosta inserting himself so much into the story, but I appreciate the tough questions just as I appreciated Garrett questioning Obama.

      1. .IJR removed the option to identify who your 2 down votes were, but I am guessing that they not only did not listen to press conferences for other POTUS, they did not hear the questions asked of Trump. Under Obama, Major Garrett was good at tough questions and tough commentary as was Jonathan Karl—Karl was so antagonistic that the Koch Bothers hired him to moderate their private debate in 2016. J Roberts of FOX & F Chambers of Daily Mail do not throw softballs at Trump or Sanders

    2. How is asking Trump to explain why he called the caravan an invasion NOT a legitimate question? I would think that anyone that believed the fear mongering would be the FIRST to want to know WHY?

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