On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Timothy J. Kelly heard arguments for and against a restraining order that would force the White House to let grandstanding CNN propagandist Jim Acosta back into press briefings. No decision was handed down, but according to reports, Judge Kelly will render a decision on the matter at 3 p.m. local time Thursday.
An initial hearing in CNN v. Trump is starting now. CNN and Acosta's lawyers are asking Judge Timothy J. Kelly for a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction that would restore his press pass right away. https://t.co/N5gq97qTnX
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) November 14, 2018
Story coming, but a few quick takeaways:
– Robust questioning of both sides, but judge's Qs suggested skepticism about CNN's First Amendment args
– DOJ argued broadly that the president basically has total discretion when it comes to press access, could kick out anyone/everyone
— Zoe Tillman (@ZoeTillman) November 14, 2018
BREAKING – No decision today on Jim Acosta temporary restraining order request. Judge taking under advisement and announcing decision tomorrow at 3 PM
Trending: Cartoon of the Day: The Squad
— Jeremy Barr (@jeremymbarr) November 14, 2018
The White House argued that it has the right to pick and choose which journalists are given permanent, hard passes to attend the briefings.
“No journalist has a First Amendment right to enter the White House and the president need not survive First Amendment scrutiny whenever he exercises his discretion to deny an individual journalist one of the many hundreds of passes granting on-demand access to the White House complex,” the president’s attorneys said.
According to the Washington Post:
CNN has asserted that Trump, his aides and the Secret Service violated Acosta’s First and Fifth Amendment rights by taking away his press pass, which enables reporters to enter the White House grounds and cover events open to journalists. The First Amendment guarantees freedom of speech; the Fifth ensures government actions follow due process.
The White House took the unprecedented step of yanking Acosta’s credential after Trump blasted him as “a rude, terrible person” when the reporter questioned him during a news conference. A White House press aide tried to take Acosta’s microphone out of his hands, leading to a brief physical altercation.
In a lengthy brief filed with the court Wednesday, the president’s lawyers asserted that Trump has “broad discretion” to choose who gets to attend presidential events, including news conferences on White House grounds. As a result, they urged Kelly to deny CNN’s motion.
An article at CNN Business added:
Kelly opened the hearing by quizzing [CNN attorney Theodore] Boutrous on the network’s First Amendment claim and asking how the President’s history of attacks on CNN should be viewed in the context of the lawsuit.
Boutrous rattled off examples of Trump’s missives against CNN, including his claim that the network is an “enemy of the people.”
Kelly expressed skepticism that this proves the Acosta ban is “content-based discrimination,” as CNN is alleging.
Kelly said there is some evidence that Acosta’s conduct — not his content — led the White House to suspend his press pass.
How about this video, which was posted by White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders:
We stand by our decision to revoke this individual’s hard pass. We will not tolerate the inappropriate behavior clearly documented in this video. pic.twitter.com/T8X1Ng912y
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) November 8, 2018
CNN’s attorneys, by the way, denied that Acosta ever touched the intern.
“It’s absolutely false,” Boutrous said.
Boutrous, CNN said, “pointed out that Trump administration never mentioned that accusation against Acosta in the 28-page brief that Justice Department lawyers filed with the court earlier on Wednesday.”
Speaking with the Daily Caller, Trump said he wasn’t sure how the judge would rule.
“We’ll see how the court rules. Is it freedom of the press when somebody comes in and starts screaming questions and won’t sit down?” he asked.
“Jim Acosta is just somebody who gets up and grandstands, he doesn’t even know what he’s asking you half of the time. . . . I really think that when you have guys like Acosta, I think they’re bad for the country,” he said.
- Fox News misses mark by country mile, stands with CNN, propagandist Jim Acosta — Fans speak out
- Laughable Fake News CNN and Crybaby Jim Acosta File Lawsuit Against Trump
- Sarah Sanders responds after CNN sues over Acosta’s WH press pass, slams grandstanding propagandist
- Finally: White House Pulls Jim Acosta’s Credentials
- Trump shreds grandstanding CNN propagandist Jim Acosta: ‘You are a rude, terrible person’ — Video
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