Constitutional attorney and conservative radio host Mark Levin is weighing in on CNN's lawsuit against the White House. CNN filed the lawsuit today on behalf of correspondent Jim Acosta. His press credentials were pulled last week after he got into a physical altercation with a White House intern over a microphone.
"I just read CNN's lawsuit against the administration over Jim Acosta. It's a very weak case, but if they get before an Obama or Clinton district judge, who knows. CNN hired Ted Olson's firm, and he has signed onto the lawsuit. Olson was hired for a few reasons: 1. As a former Reagan official and lawyer for Bush in Bush-Gore, CNN hopes to make the PR case that this a bipartisan matter; 2. CNN hopes to make the PR case that it is upholding the Constitution against a rogue administration; and, 3. CNN has employed a top Supreme Court litigator," Levin posted to his Facebook page Monday.
"Nonetheless, it is a ridiculous suit. CNN still has reporters at the White House and in the presidential press conferences; Acosta does not have a constitutional right to be physically present in the press room, anymore than the scores of media outlets that do not; Acosta can watch the press conference from outside the White House grounds as they are televised; the president cannot be compelled by any court to actually call on any particular reporter during a press conference," he continued. "Acosta does not have a constitutional right to disrupt the press conference with his various antics anymore than any other reporter; and, a president is not constitutionally compelled to hold a presidential press conference. The courts should stay out of this on separation of powers grounds, among other things. No one is preventing Acosta from reporting or CNN from broadcasting."
A reminder of what led to this point:
CNN argues on the lawsuit the First Amendment rights of their reporter are being violated by the White House and Secret Service. Press Secretary Sarah Sanders isn't buying it.
“We have been advised that CNN has filed a complaint challenging the suspension of Jim Acosta’s hard pass. This is just more grandstanding from CNN, and we will vigorously defend against this lawsuit. CNN, who has nearly 50 additional hard pass holders, and Mr. Acosta is no more or less special than any other media outlet or reporter with respect to the First Amendment," Sanders said in a statement Tuesday. "After Mr. Acosta asked the President two questions—each of which the President answered—he physically refused to surrender a White House microphone to an intern, so that other reporters might ask their questions. This was not the first time this reporter has inappropriately refused to yield to other reporters."
"The White House cannot run an orderly and fair press conference when a reporter acts this way, which is neither appropriate nor professional. The First Amendment is not served when a single reporter, of more than 150 present, attempts to monopolize the floor. If there is no check on this type of behavior it impedes the ability of the President, the White House staff, and members of the media to conduct business," she continued.
The White House Correspondents Association is standing behind Acosta.