According to the Associated Press:
A federal judge in Washington is ordering the Trump administration to immediately return the White House press credentials of CNN reporter Jim Acosta.
U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Kelly announced his decision Friday morning.
CNN had asked that Acosta’s credentials be returned while a lawsuit over their revocation goes forward.
So I suppose now he can go to press conferences and stand up for 45 minutes asking questions. In fact, Acosta can decide he’ll take questions from the press too. Maybe he can attend briefings in his Halloween costume.
The judge was appointed by President Trump.
However, one thing is very important to note here. The White House, if it’s going to make a fight about this, could very easily revoke the pass again and it might stay revoked until the case is decided.
According to CNN itself:
Kelly made his ruling on the basis of CNN and Acosta’s Fifth Amendment claims, saying the White House did not provide Acosta with the due process required to legally revoke his press pass.
He left open the possibility, however, that the White House could seek to revoke it again if it provided that due process, emphasizing the “very limited” nature of his ruling and saying he was not making a judgment on the First Amendment claims that CNN and Acosta have made.
So it’s a technicality, essentially. As long as the White House takes it away again using proper procedures, it can do so. The judge is not saying that Acosta has a first amendment “freedom of the press” or “freedom of speech” right to be in the White House while the case is being decided.
Which makes sense to me. CNN has other reporters who can cover the place, and Acosta can continue to report from off campus, even though that’s not as good as reporting from the White House. But if the White House is making the case the Acosta has abused his privileges there, then it seems reasonable that he be kept off the property while the case is decided.
Again, my position is that Acosta should be offered a second chance and given his pass back if he promises to obey White House protocols. Freedom of the press suggests that any White House reporter should be permitted to enter the premises. But it stands to reason that such freedom does not allow you to do whatever the hell you like once your there.
Here’s Acosta’s reaction.