Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement Friday that the White House would “temporarily” restore the credentials of reporter Jim Acosta, after losing a court battle with CNN over Acosta’s First and Fifth amendment rights. The spat began Nov. 7, when Trump yelled at various reporters, including Acosta, at a press conference that was supposed to be about the results of the midterm elections. That same day, Sanders announced the White House had revoked Acosta’s press pass and accused the reporter of “placing his hands” on a young intern who tried to take his microphone away. Days later, CNN and Acosta responded with a lawsuit, accusing the White House of violating Acosta’s First Amendment right to free speech and Fifth Amendment right to due process.
A district court judge ruled Friday that the White House did violate Acosta’s Fifth Amendment rights by not following due process when stripping him of his press pass—but it did not comment on the charge that Acosta’s First Amendment rights were violated, too. Sanders clung to this victory in her statement, writing: “Today, the court made it clear that there is no absolute First Amendment right to access the White House. 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.”