U.S. District Judge Timothy J. Kelly, who was appointed by President Donald Trump past year, said CNN's attorneys were likely to prevail in their argument that the White House had violated Acosta's and the network's First and Fifth Amendment rights.
The White House yanked his press pass the next day, which the cable network alleged was a violation of Acosta's First and Fifth Amendment rights.
Judge Kelly did not rule on the big First Amendment questions CNN raised, instead limiting his decision to whether the White House had acted arbitrarily in denying Mr. Acosta a thing of value - in this case, the press pass that CNN says is crucial to him doing his job.
CNN reporter Jim Acosta speaks with reporters outside of the US District courthouse.
The White House took Acosta's credentials after a contentious press conference when he got in a heated back-and-forth with President Donald Trump.
"The White House also argued that CNN did not suffer harm because of Acosta's revoked credential, given that they had other reporters who could still access the White House", McLeod reported. The "hard pass" allows the bearer to enter White House areas as an employee might, not requiring as onerous a security check or an invitation or request for entrance.More news: The Queen extends rare invite to Meghan Markle's mother
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Trump continued: "CNN should be ashamed of themselves having you working for them". Kelly said he agreed with the government's argument that there was no First Amendment right to come onto the White House grounds. "It is imperative that independent journalists have access to the president and his activities and that journalists are not barred for arbitrary reasons", they said.
But in court documents, the White House argued that the decision was make in order to preserve White House decorum and did not claim impropriety towards the intern.
A federal judge in Washington ruled Friday in favor of CNN in a decision that represents the first legal blows between Trump and the news media.
The judge said the White House decision likely violated the journalist's right to due process and freedom of speech. "If left unchallenged, the actions of the White House would create a unsafe chilling effect for any journalist who covers our elected officials". "The White House is not prohibiting CNN from being in there". President Trump has given the press more access than any President in history.
But that rationale disappeared after witnesses backed Mr. Acosta's account that he was just trying to keep the microphone, and Ms. Sanders distributed a doctored video that made it appear Mr. Acosta was more aggressive than he actually was.
Acosta had pressed Trump about his lies about Central American immigrants, prompting the president to become angry and to try to move on to another reporter. She said in a statement that the White House would "develop further rules and processes to ensure fair and orderly press conferences in the future", USA Today reported. Last week, the Trump administration yanked the White House reporter's credential following a silly spat with an intern over a microphone. Acosta, CNN's chief White House correspondent, is the first reporter with a so-called hard pass to be banned. The network received the support of multiple other news organizations, including Fox News, in the form of amicus briefs filed with the court.