(It hailed a triumph for the Cable News Network and the media outlets that volunteered their support for the lawsuit’s response to a temporary restraining order…)
A testy exchange, reportedly between President Trump and CNN’s senior White House correspondent, Jim Acosta, took place on November 7th at the White House’s East Room press conference which resulted in the revocation of the correspondent’s press pass.
CNN’s suit filed: “Suspension of Acosta’s credentials violates the 1st Amendment’s protection of free speech; the way the administration revoked the pass,
with no direct notice to Acosta or a written explanation detailing the decision, violated the 5th Amendment’s production of due process and the federal Administration
The White House Correspondents’ Association, which represents journalists in their negotiations over access to the president, filed a brief “as quickly as it
could,” which urged the court “to roundly reject the president’s dangerous legal position.” It disputed the government’s claim that the president has “absolute, un-
bridled decision,” to roundly reject the president’s dangerous legal position.”
It was learned that during the presidential campaign of 2015 and 2016, Donald Trump “banned more than a dozen news organizations, portraying the suit,” as evidence of “liberal bias.”
Judge Timothy Kelly, whom Trump appointed to the federal bench last year handed down his ruling two (2) days after the network and government lawyers argued over whetherthe president had the power to revoke a reporter’s access to the White House.
In dwelling on his decision, Kelly said the government’s argument that “There was no First Amendment right to come out onto the White House grounds, once, the White House opened up the grounds to reporters, the First Amendment applied.”
The Kelly ruling, applied, however, primarily underscored evidence “indicating that the White House’s decision to boot Acosta had violated the 5th Amendment which guarantees due process in government actions.”
The same ruling stated that the White House’s decision-making was so “shrouded in mystery that the government could not tell me…who made the
decision…” according to the jurist who made his decision from the bench.
Judge Kelly continued to say “that the White House’s written arguments for banning Acosta were belated and were not sufficient to satisfy due process in government actions.”
When the ruling was announced, CNN stated “We are gratified with this result. We look forward to a full restoration in the coming days. Our sincere
thanks to all who have supported not just CNN, but a free, strong and independent American press.”
Acosta responded: “I just want to thank all my colleagues in the press who supported me this week. I want to thank the judge (for this ruling) and let’s
go back to work.”
Against the backdrop of the Oval Office, it was learned how President Trump underscored that “the White House would write rules to satisfy the court’s due-process concerns.” He also vigorously suggested how his “administration would keep up the legal fight with CNN.”
In another emphatic tone, the president declared: “We will end up back in court, and we will win. We always have the option of leaving and the other media and press in the room won’t be happy.”
Interestingly, the White House Correspondents’ Association, which represents journalists in their negotiations over access to the president, filed a brief as
quickly as it could and urged the court “to roundly reject the president’s dangerous legal position.”
The aforesaid organization disputed the government’s claim that the president has “absolute, unbridled discretion to decide who can report from inside the White House.”
Returning to the White House’s latest action (still in reference to the revocation of the pass of Acosta), CNN had requested “emergency” relief from Judge
Kelly, arguing that Acosta’s rights “were being violated with each passing hour.”
Until the White House’s action last week, it was learned how “no reporter credentialed to cover the president had ever had a press pass revoked.”
A government attorney, James Burnham, it was further learned, argued in a hearing before Judge Kelly on November 15, that the president was “within his rights to ban any reporter from interviews in the Oval Office.”
Burnham stated: “Acosta could report on the president “just as effectively, by watching the president on TV or by calling people within the White House.”
The same lawyer indicated how “CNN would not be injured by Acosta’s exclusion, since CNN has dozens of other journalists credentialed for the White
In defense of the president, Burnham defended Trump’s rationale for Acosta’s ban for his “rudeness,” during that same November 7th news conference.
In effect, the government’s lawyer argued that Acosta’s “conduct,” not his right to “free speech,” was the relevant issue.
Burnham’s assertion drew a rebuttal from the CNN’s attorney. The latter described the ban on the reporter as “arbitrary, capricious and unprecedented.”
“White House reporters need access to the premises to meet with press aides and other officials, that banning reporters from the grounds harms the
ability to meet with press aides and other officials, and that banning reporters from the ground harms the ability to carry on in their job,” the CNN legal counsel added.
Still on the same case, it was inspiring and encouraging to hear media organizations who were reported to have been “alarmed,” by the White House’s
treatment of Acosta.
“Revoking Acosta’s hard pass to enter the White House is a threat to other journalists who might be similarly banned,” was said in unison.
In the combined statement of 13 news organizations, including the Washington Post, Fox News, all jointly filed a friend-of-the-court brief in support of
Trump’s known ‘favorite network, Fox News,’ was described as “not always rosy on what he says or does, especially when he backs Russia over the
U.S. intelligence community.”
It’s timely to ask: “Was the incident between the president and Acosta, a mere run-in?”
Since the same aforesaid occurrence might have established a “first,” concerning White House access, does the ruling by Judge Kelly serve as an
indicator of any regulations that are interpreted similarly when legitimate coverage by the working press would arise?