(CNSNews.com) – A decision is expected Thursday in CNN’s lawsuit against President Donald Trump for revoking the Secret Service hard pass of CNN White House Correspondent Jim Acosta.
Judge Timothy Kelly of the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia is expected to rule on whether the White House’s decision to take away Acosta’s credentials violated the Constitution.
CNN lawyer Theodore J. Boutrous Jr., argued Wednesday that Trump doesn’t have the right to choose which reporters the network sends to the White House.
“Rudeness’ is a code word for ‘I don’t like you being an aggressive reporter,’” Boutrous said. “The president doesn’t have the right to choose who CNN sends to the White House.”
James Burnham, the lawyer representing the Trump administration, said Acosta’s press pass was revoked because of the way he behaved during the White House press conference last week.
As CNSNews.com previously reported, his White House press credentials were suspended last week after he refused to give the microphone back to a White House intern during a press conference with Trump when Trump refused to answer any more of Acosta’s questions.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said at the time that the White House will “never tolerate a reporter placing his hands on a young women just trying to do her job as a White House intern.” She later called his behavior “absolutely unacceptable” and disrespectful to other reporters he refused to allow to ask their questions.
Judge Kelly asked Burnham about Sanders’ statements, saying, “You have no position on the accuracy of that statement?”
Burnam said the claim that Acosta put his hands on the White House aide wasn’t the “operating rationale” behind the White House’s decision. He argued that Acosta’s behavior – not his reporting – was the reason for the suspension, and he pointed out that other CNN employees still had White House hard passes.
Meanwhile, Fox News Channel has issued an amicus brief.
“Fox News supports CNN in its legal effort to regain its White House reporter’s press credential. We intend to file an amicus brief with the U.S. District Court,” Fox News President Jay Wallace said in a statement Wednesday. “Secret Service passes for working White House journalists should never be weaponized.
“While we don’t condone the growing antagonistic tone by both the President and the press at recent media avails, we do support a free press, access and open exchanges for the American people,” Wallace said.
Thirteen media outlets in total – including Fox News – issued a joint statement Wednesday morning in support of CNN’s lawsuit.
“Our news organizations support the fundamental constitutional right to question the President, or any President. We will be filing friend-of-the-court briefs to support CNN’s and Jim Acosta’s lawsuit based on these principles,” the statement said, which was signed by the Associated Press, NBC, Gannett, New York Times, USA Today, Politico, Bloomberg, Washington Post, and others.
“Our news organizations support the fundamental constitutional right to question the President, or any President. We will be filing friend-of-the-court briefs to support CNN’s and Jim Acosta’s lawsuit based on these principles,” the statement added.
CBS also issued a statement in support of Acosta’s lawsuit and added that it will file a friend of the court brief as well.
“CBS News supports the White House Correspondents Association and CNN’s legal effort to restore access for its White House correspondent,” CBS News said in a statement.
“We do not believe that revoking White House press credentials is an appropriate remedy for a disagreement the White House may have with a particular reporter. We intend to file a friend of the court brief in support of CNN’s lawsuit to defend its constitutional rights,” it added.