“We are gratified with this result and we look forward to a full resolution in the coming days,” CNN said in a statement following the ruling. “Our sincere thanks to all who have supported not just CNN, but a free, strong and independent American press.”
The cable news network initially filed a lawsuit against President Trump on Tuesday, which demanded the return of Acosta’s revoked credential and accused Trump of violating the First and Fifth Amendments by banning Acosta from the White House.
Kelly’s ruling granted CNN’s request for a temporary restraining order, which means Acosta will have his access to the White House restored for a short period of time. Further hearings will take place in the coming weeks, and Kelly has yet to rule on whether Trump is violating any amendments.
CNN’s lawsuit was a response to the now-infamous dust-up between Trump and Acosta at a post-midterms press conference on Nov. 7. After Acosta had asked his first question, Trump attempted to stop the journalist from asking a follow-up, and a White House intern stepped in to take the microphone away from Acosta, to no avail.
Later that day, Acosta was denied access to the White House, and Secret Service agents asked him to surrender his credential. The White House went on to say that Acosta was “placing his hands on a young woman” when he attempted to stop the intern from taking his microphone during that afternoon’s press conference.
“The wrongful revocation of these credentials violates CNN and Acosta’s First Amendment rights of freedom of the press, and their Fifth Amendment rights to due process,” CNN’s official complaint read. “While the suit is specific to CNN and Acosta, this could have happened to anyone. If left unchallenged, the actions of the White House would create a dangerous chilling effect for any journalist who covers our elected officials.”
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders dismissed the legal action as “just more grandstanding from CNN,” adding that “the White House cannot run an orderly and fair press conference when the reporter acts [as Acosta did], which is neither appropriate nor professional.”