A federal judge has temporarily restored the White House press credentials of CNN’s Jim Acosta, barred essentially because Donald Trump doesn’t like him.
The press pass is restored pending a full trial of the claim that Trump had acted unconstitutionally in prohibiting Acosta from access. However, a likelihood of success on the merits is typically a consideration in granting temporary orders. Judge Timothy Kelly, who issued the order, is a Trump appointee.
In his decision, Kelly ruled that Acosta’s First Amendment rights overruled the White House’s right to have orderly news conferences. Kelly said he agreed with the government’s argument that there was no First Amendment right to come onto the White House grounds. But, he said, once the White House opened up the grounds to reporters, the First Amendment applied.
He also agreed with CNN’s argument that the White House did not provide due process. He said the White House’s decision-making was “so shrouded in mystery that the government could not tell me…. who made the decision.” The White House’s later written arguments for banning Acosta were belated and weren’t sufficient to satisfy due process, Kelly said.