The Slatest

Judge Rules That CNN’s Jim Acosta Is Allowed Back Into White House—for Now

Jim Acosta walking towards federal court in Washington, D.C.
CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta arrives at U.S. District Court in Washington on Friday.
MANDEL NGAN/Getty Images

A federal judge on Friday morning granted a temporary restraining order sought by CNN and its White House correspondent Jim Acosta, allowing him back into the White House press corps and restoring his access to the building.

Judge Timothy Kelly, who was appointed to the Washington, D.C., District Court by President Trump, ruled that the revocation of Acosta’s “hard pass” to enter the White House had been done without due process, violating the Fifth Amendment.

CNN sued the White House and several staffers this week, asking for Acosta’s access to the White House to be immediately restored, citing violations of both the First Amendment’s protection of the press and Fifth Amendment’s due process rights. There will still be further hearings and possibly a trial as CNN and Acosta seek for him to be permanently allowed back.

The White House removed Acosta from the White House press pool and revoked his access to the building last week following a dust-up in the president’s post-midterms news conference, where Acosta criticized Trump for referring to the migrant caravan as an “invasion” and Trump responded by calling him a “rude, terrible person” and an “enemy of the people.”

To immediately justify the nearly unprecedented expulsion, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Acosta had “[placed] his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job as a White House intern” who was trying to take a microphone from Acosta to give to another reporter. When video proved that claim to be plainly false, the White House justification evolved, with Sanders saying Acosta had “physically refused to surrender a White House microphone to an intern, so that other reporters might ask their questions.”

Several of CNN’s fellow news organizations, including Fox News, supported the lawsuit and filed a brief on its behalf.