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Judge: White House Must Return CNN Reporter's Press Document

2018-11-16

A federal judge has ordered the administration of President Donald Trump to immediately return the press documents of a reporter with the American television network CNN.

CNN had taken legal action against the Trump administration after the White House removed the press pass of political reporter Jim Acosta.

U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Kelly announced his decision at a hearing Friday morning. The judge said Acosta’s pass must be reactivated to permit him to enter the White House for news conferences and other events.

CNN's Jim Acosta walks out of the U.S. District Courthouse with a smile, Nov. 16, 2018, in Washington, D.C. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
CNN's Jim Acosta walks out of the U.S. District Courthouse with a smile, Nov. 16, 2018, in Washington, D.C. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

The ruling is temporary, however, with the judge describing it as “very limited in nature.”

The White House said it would follow the judge’s order, but planned to develop “rules” for more orderly news conferences.

The Trump administration removed Acosta’s press pass following an especially heated news conference last week. Acosta questioned Trump’s use of the word “invasion” to describe groups of Central American migrants heading to the United States. Acosta then refused to give up a microphone when Trump said he did not want to hear anything more from him.

Trump told Acosta, “CNN should be ashamed of itself, having you work for them. You are a rude, terrible person.”

CNN sued the White House days later. The network claimed that Acosta’s first and fifth amendment rights had been violated. The first amendment of the U.S. Constitution bars Congress from passing laws that harm the freedom of the press. The fifth amendment of the Constitution says, in part, that a person cannot lose their freedom, property or life “without due process of law.”

The judge said Friday he had not found that the First Amendment was violated.

But he ordered Acosta’s pass to be returned for now because he said CNN was likely to win on its fifth amendment claim -- that Acosta did not receive notice or explanation before his pass was taken from him.

I’m Ashley Thompson.

The Associated Press reported this story. Ashley Thompson adapted it for VOA Learning English. Hai Do was the editor.

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Words in This Story

ashamed - adj. feeling shame or guilt

rude - adj. not having or showing concern or respect for the rights and feelings of other people

microphone - n. a device into which people speak or sing in order to record their voices or to make them sound louder