CNN requested an emergency court hearing Monday after the White House warned in a Friday letter that it had made a “preliminary decision” to suspend reporter Jim Acosta’s press pass again once a temporary restraining order against doing so expires at the end of the month. The network is asking the U.S. District Court for a preliminary injunction to be implemented protecting Acosta from that apparent eventuality.
“The White House is continuing to violate the First and 5th Amendments of the Constitution,” a statement from CNN read. “These actions threaten all journalists and news organizations. Jim Acosta and CNN will continue to report the news about the White House and the President.”
The White House stripped Acosta’s security pass after a testy exchange with President Trump during Trump’s post-midterms press conference on November 7, in which Acosta refused to give up the microphone after asking several questions and Trump called him a “rude, terrible person.” Complicating matters, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders released footage of Acosta’s interaction with a White House intern who tried to take the microphone away that was apparently doctored to make his actions look more aggressive than they were.
The judge who granted the restraining order cautioned that his ruling was limited and only addressed Acosta’s right to due process, which the court decided had been violated. It did not rule on CNN’s claims that Acosta’s First Amendment rights were violated.
Critics of the administration’s decision have argued that a win for CNN would be a win for the free press, and Fox News and other news organizations have voiced their solidarity with the network in its fight to regain Acosta’s press pass.