Further, the judge reportedly stated the fact that CNN has other pass holders does not reduce the level of "harm" towards Acosta. Accordingly, the press credentials allowing access to the White House grounds and press complex, and to the President and his entourage during trips, are necessary to provide workplace access. "Let's get back to work", he said.
U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Kelly ruled Friday morning that the White House must immediately return CNN journalist Jim Acosta's press credentials taken away abruptly last week after a heated exchange between the USA president and the CNN reporter.
The judge also pressed CNN's attorneys, noting that there were plenty of other CNN journalists covering the White House.
The White House yanked Acosta's credentials following a series of back-and-forths between President Trump and the reporter that culminated in an explosive exchange at a press conference the day after the midterm elections. "This doesn't end the legal battle over Acosta's access to the White House, it simply means that it is restored for now".
Judge Timothy Kelly, who was appointed to the bench by Mr Trump a year ago, said Mr Acosta's constitutional rights outweighed the White House's right to have an orderly news conference, the Washington Post reported.
"Whatever process occurred within the government is still so shrouded in mystery that the government could not tell me at oral argument who made the initial decision to revoke Mr. Acosta's press pass", Kelly said.
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"Our honest thanks to all who have supported not just CNN, but a free, strong and independent American press".
Ultimately, Kelly says CNN successfully proved it will suffer irreparable harm as a result of the administration taking away Acosta's pass.
Others named on the suit included White House chief of staff John Kelly and White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
The judge said the government could not say who initially chose to revoke Acosta's hard pass. When the White House's doctored video of that event was exposed, the Trump administration dropped that argument. 'Pardon me, ma'am, ' he said to her.
CNN lawyers argued in court Wednesday that the White House violated Acosta´s First Amendment right to free speech in revoking his credentials.
In his ruling, Kelly said the allegation Acosta placed his hands on the intern was of "questionable accuracy". "As a matter of law... yes", he said.