U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly, who is hearing CNN’s lawsuit challenging to the revocation, ordered the White House to restore Acosta’s press pass while the case is pending.
“Let’s go back to work,” Acosta said to reporters after the hearing.
CNN said in a statement it “looked forward to a full resolution in the coming days” and thanked “all who have supported not just CNN, but a free, strong and independent American press.”
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Kelly, a Trump appointee, did not address the First Amendment’s protections for freedom of speech and the press, but instead focused on a due process provision of the U.S. Constitution that provides for fair treatment through a judicial or administrative process.
“Whatever process occurred within the government is still so shrouded in mystery that the government at oral argument could not tell me who made the initial decision to revoke Mr. Acosta’s press pass,” Kelly said in his verbal ruling.
The White House revoked Acosta’s credentials last week in an escalation of the Republican president’s attacks on the news media, which he has dubbed the “enemy of the people.”