A federal judge ruled Friday that the Trump administration must immediately return CNN reporter Jim Acosta’s White House press pass.
The ruling marked a victory for the network, which had filed a lawsuit earlier this week alleging that both CNN and Acosta’s First and Fifth Amendment rights had been violated through the suspension of Acosta’s pass.
Nevertheless, judge Timothy Kelly—who was appointed by President Trump—only granted CNN’s request for a temporary restraining order, meaning that Acosta’s reinstatement is not yet permanent. He noted that the ruling was made based on the conclusion that the White House did not provide Acosta with due process; if it were to provide such due process in the future, however, the White House could theoretically revoke Acosta’s pass again. Kelly did not issue his ruling on the First Amendment claims.
But it’s not over yet. CNN has also requested “permanent relief,” which the network explains is a “declaration from Kelly that Trump’s revocation of Acosta’s press pass was unconstitutional.” Should Kelly grant the network’s request, it could serve to provide protection for all reporters—which is precisely the reason that a number of networks filed an amicus brief siding with CNN.
Kelly is not expected to rule on this and other legal issues for a few weeks.