Acosta's "hard pass", which provided expedited access to the White House grounds, was suspended earlier this month after he engaged in a contentious back-and-forth with Trump during a November 7 press conference.
CNN challenged the press pass revocation in court, arguing it violated Acosta's First Amendment right to free speech, as well as the due process clause of the Constitution providing fair treatment through judicial and administrative process.
In court, US government lawyers said there was no First Amendment right of access to the White House and that Acosta was penalized for acting rudely at the news conference and not for his criticism of the president. In the Friday ruling, the judge restored Acosta's credentials temporarily while a CNN lawsuit against the administration proceeds. It was signed by two of the defendants in the suit, press secretary Sarah Sanders and deputy chief of staff for communications Bill Shine.
Ms Sanders called his behaviour "absolutely unacceptable", and later tweeted a video of the incident that others said was "doctored". "It turns out that press access to the White House is grounded very much in tradition rather than in plain-letter law". The White House had considered only restoring the pass temporarily for the time required by the judge, but it caved and issued a full restoration Monday.More news: Samsung's next flagship might have a new AI chip, 8K video recording
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All of this was detailed by CNN in a progress report filed in court on Monday.
In our view, the procedural requirements of notice of the factual bases for denial, an opportunity for the applicant to respond to these, and a final written statement of the reasons for denial are compelled by the foregoing determination that the interest of a bona fide Washington correspondent in obtaining a White House press pass is protected by the first amendment.
The report says that CNN had meant to "resolve this dispute amicably" by working with the White House and the White House Correspondents' Association "to establish protocols" for press conferences "on a going forward basis".
"Far from constituting an 'emergency, ' the White House's initiation of a process to consider suspending Mr. Acosta's hard pass is something this Court's Order anticipated", they said. The letter cited his conduct at President Trump's November 7 press conference, where he asked multiple follow-up questions and didn't give up the microphone right away.
In an interview with Fox News' Chris Wallace aired Sunday. "We're doing that. We're going to write them up right now - it's not a big deal".