Judge Kelly is a Trump appointee but ruled that the First Amendment applies to Acosta because the White House opened up the grounds to reporters which then triggered First Amendment application.
A federal judge on Friday ruled in favor of CNN and reporter Jim Acosta in a dispute with President Trump, ordering the White House to temporarily restore the press credentials that the Trump Administration took away from Acosta last week.
In a victory for the cable network and for press access generally, Judge Timothy J. Kelly granted CNN’s motion for a temporary restraining order that will prevent the White House from keeping Acosta off the White House grounds.
The White House revoked the reporter’s press pass last week after a heated exchange between him and President Trump and a brief altercation with a press aide at a news conference. Acosta, CNN’s chief White House correspondent, is the first reporter with a so-called hard pass to be banned.
CNN sued President Trump and other White House officials on Tuesday over the revocation. Kelly’s ruling was the first legal skirmish in that lawsuit. It has the immediate effect of sending Acosta back to the White House, pending further arguments and a possible trial. The litigation is in its early stages, and a trial could be months in the future.