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    Court orders White House to restore Jim Acosta’s press pass

    Court orders White House to restore Jim Acosta’s press pass

    Grants Temporary Restraining Order, ruling the Acosta was not afforded due process in the revocation.

    Judge Timothy J. Kelly, a Trump appointee, has just ruled on the motion of Jim Acosta and CNN for a temporary restraining order restoring Acosta’s White House “hard pass”.

    Based on reports from reporters in the media room, it appears that the Judge ruled that while the White House doesn’t have to allow any reporters into the White House, by setting up a credentialing process it owes people like Acosta due process, and that it confers a First Amendment interest entitled to protection. The Court appears to have ruled that Acosta’s First Amendment rights supercede the White House interest in orderly press conferences, and that Acosta was not given due process in the revocation process.

    Quick Assessment: This is a bad decision which effectively gives an individual reporter control over the White House press briefing process. It the White House can’t revoke the credentials of someone who disrupts a press conference in the way Acosta did, including refusing to turn over the microphone, then press conferences will turn into even more of a circus than they already are. Clearly, the lack of any formal process for revocation of press credentials influenced the court. Trump still appears to have the right not to call on Acosta. But what it Acosta refuses to stay silent, shouts, injects himself into the conference, and otherwise disrupts proceedings when he is not called on? The White House better set up, if it doesn’t have it already, a speedy but “due” process to revoke the credentials.

    Until there is a transcript, we have to rely on media reports of the Judge’s oral ruling.

    For background, see these prior posts:

    Based on reporting from the media room, the Judge ruled:


    This NYT Editor seems to have it right. It’s a temporary victory for Acosta, but once the White House gets procedures in place, it’s a loss for the press overall:

    Here’s the Court docket entry:

    11/16/2018 Minute Entry and Order for proceedings held before Judge Timothy J. Kelly: Motion Hearing continued and held on 11/16/2018. Oral Ruling GRANTING 2 MOTION for Temporary Restraining Order, for the reasons stated on the record in open court. Order forthcoming. (Court Reporter: Timothy Miller) (kh) (Entered: 11/16/2018)

    Acosta won, the press lost. Trump is having the White House draft press conduct rules:

    In an interview with Chris Wallace for Fox News Sunday, Trump brushed off Judge Timothy Kelly’s Friday ruling that CNN’s Jim Acosta have his Secret Service pass to the White House grounds be reinstated. Despite the ruling being a interim rejection of The White House argument that the president has “broad” discretion in which credentialed members of the press are allowed access to attend official briefings, Trump said, “It’s not a big deal,” and that his team is already working on “rules” for reporter conduct.

    “We’re doing that, we’re going to write them up right now,” Trump told Wallace. “It’s not a big deal and if he misbehaves we’ll throw him out or we’ll stop the news conference.”

    Pushing for specifics, Wallace asked if certain things are going to be considered “over the line” and Trump reiterated that these new rules are being written now, but that they will cover “decorum” and outline that reporters “can’t keep asking questions.”


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    Reporters like Acosta have a monopoly on specific seats!!?!?!!??. The WH should create a policy that rotates the thousands of reporters available on a weekly basis. Let Acosta sit outside that way along with many of the other idiots in the corps.

    Vladtheimp | November 17, 2018 at 7:45 pm

    Seriously? The solution requires developing,implementing, and enforcing Standards. When is the last time you remember the Left supporting Standards unless they advance their Statist agenda?

    President Trump’s standards will last as long as his completely legal exercises of Executive Authority (unlike Obama’s) in Immigration, the environment,et al. lasted before they encountered a frivolous Leftist lawsuit (but I repeat myself) before a federal judge in Hawaii, California, or – take your pick.

    Resist We Much!

    It’s impossible to comment on whether the judge was correct or incorrect or even just confused without a transcript.

    Be that as it may, it’s not a bad idea to revoke ALL press passes to the White House subject to their being reissued upon signature under oath stating that: the holder understands and agrees that all such passes are issued at the pleasure of the president, that issuance of the pass grants no license or privilege, and that such passes may be summarily revoked temporarily or permanently at any time with or without reason therefore at the pleasure of the president or his duly authorized agent.

    That should be the only “rule”. That way there is nothing to argue about in the future.


    DieJustAsHappy | November 18, 2018 at 7:50 am

    All this brouhaha over behavior of adults during a press conference just goes to reenforce, at least to me, the notion that human nature changes very little.

      Sayre’s Law:

      “In any dispute the intensity of feeling is inversely proportional to the value of the issues at stake.”

      That is why academia is such a war zone. Apparently it also applies whenever lawyers are involved in hypothetical discussions. Fierce battles break out over minutiae. Like rabbis arguing over how many angels fit on the head of a pin.

        DieJustAsHappy in reply to Pasadena Phil. | November 18, 2018 at 9:00 am

        For those professors who, at times, got long in a lecture, it was a known tactic by students to ask about a passionate issue. They’d get wound up, sometimes for the remaining of the class time.

        Later on, when PC-ness was worming its way into academia, one could really get some of the Lefties really cranked, although care needed to be exercised in the phrasing of any questions/remarks. Otherwise, one might be “red-flagged,” called a “Nazis,” or even called to the prof’s office.

        “Like rabbis arguing over how many angels fit on the head of a pin.” Rabbis? Wasn’t Medieval Scholasticism the origin of this intellectual exercise?

          Not picking on rabbis nor scholasticism. Just observing that so many of these discussions deteriorate into legal arguments between our resident pedants where the general point, context and proportion of the discussions get lost.

          In this case, people are conflating issues that the judge kept separate and clear and digressing into minutiae to “win” bogus arguments. The judge made clear the ruling had nothing to do with the 1st amendment. He also made clear the president has no obligation to even have these pressers nor to call on anyone. He ruled solely on the basis of process, or lack of. Yet read the thread. WTF?

          The judge issued a TRO laying out a path for Trump to exercise his powers moving forward. So Acosta gets a pyrrhic “victory” getting the headlines while Trump is handed the remedy. Yet many of our “lawyers” see this as a “crushing defeat” for the WH? That is insane.

          There was no important precedent set opening the floodgates to anything. Rather, it tidied up a very minor detail empowering Trump to exercise his legal discretion. If the media wants to keep a privilege that no longer serves any useful purpose (other than allowing the mobs (formerly known as journalists) to stage protests in the WH), they will have to provide reliable assurances that they can be trusted to behave with proper respect and decorum as has been part of the tradition.

            DieJustAsHappy in reply to Pasadena Phil. | November 18, 2018 at 10:12 am

            Good points and ones, at least to my thinking, that ought not even have a reason to be raised in a civil society. Didn’t comprehend the rabbi comment as a “picking on.” Rather, didn’t know whether there was a discussion of this preceding the one I cited.

            Maybe, once the behavior of persons at press briefings is dealt with we could move on to more important issues, say behavior at the southern border!

            NOW you’re talking! It’s the border!

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