US judge delays decision in CNN press access lawsuit

A federal judge on Thursday delayed an initial ruling in a case brought by CNN against the Trump administration over the White House’s suspension of a CNN reporter’s credentials.

After hearing roughly two hours of arguments on Wednesday, Judge Timothy J. Kelly said he would issue his decision at 3 p.m. local time (2000GMT) on Thursday, but delayed the announcement until Friday morning at 10 a.m. (1500GMT).

CNN is seeking to have the judge force the administration to immediately return Jim Acosta’s hard pass.

The White House claimed in court documents filed Wednesday it has “broad discretion” in granting White House access to journalists covering the president as it sought to justify the removal of Acosta’s credential.

The White House initially sought to justify its action by saying the reporter placed “his hands on” an intern who was trying to take his microphone from him during a heated exchange with U.S. President Donald Trump last week. Spokeswoman Sarah Sanders later released what appears to be a doctored video to substantiate the claim.

She walked the assertion back in her response to CNN’s suit that was filed Tuesday, saying Acosta “inappropriately refused to yield to other reporters” during the press conference.

Nearly a dozen news outlets have lined up behind CNN, issuing court briefs in support of the lawsuit, including chief rival Fox News.

“It is imperative that independent journalists have access to the President and his activities, and that journalists are not barred for arbitrary reasons. Our news organizations support the fundamental constitutional right to question this President, or any President,” they wrote in a joint statement.

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