READ: Sarah Sanders Releases Statement in Response to Court Ruling in Favor of Jim Acosta: ‘There Is No Absolute First Amendment Right to Access the White House’


After federal judge Timothy J. Kelly ruled that the Trump administration should reinstate CNN reporter Jim Acosta’s press pass, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders issued a statement calling for “decorum” during White House press briefings.

“Today, the court made clear that there is no absolute First Amendment right to access the White House,” Sanders said. “In response to the court, we will temporarily reinstate the reporter’s hard pass. We will also further develop rules and processes to ensure fair and orderly press conferences in the future.”

“There must be decorum at the White House,” she concluded.

Sanders’s statement left many crying foul. Many criticized both her interpretation of events and her willingness, in her capacity as press secretary, to overlook or excuse President Donald Trump’s consistent lack of decorum amid his consistent attacks on the press.

CNN filed its lawsuit on Tuesday, saying that the White House has violated both the network’s and Acosta’s “First Amendment rights of freedom of the press and Fifth Amendment rights to due process.”

The suit lists Donald J. Trump, White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly, White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications William Shine, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the United States Secret Service, Secret Service Director Randolph Alles, and Secret Service Agent John Doe as defendants.

CNN argues that President Donald Trump is “depriving” CNN of its chief White House correspondent:

“Defendants have deprived Plaintiffs of their right to access the White House grounds by revoking Acosta’s White House credentials. Without those credentials, Acosta cannot access the White House and cannot effectively serve as a White House correspondent, thus depriving Plaintiff CNN of its chief White House correspondent.”

The network also argues that Acosta’s dismissal constitutes a direct violation of the Fifth Amendment’s right to due process:

“Defendants’ decision to revoke Acosta’s press credentials violates the Fifth Amendment right to due process.

“Neither the White House nor the Secret Service has provided Acosta any formal
notice of the reasons for, opportunity to be heard regarding, or opportunity to challenge, the
decision to revoke his hard pass.”

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