NEW YORK—In response to a federal judge’s ruling on CNN’s request for a court order that would temporarily restore CNN reporter Jim Acosta’s access to the White House, PEN America CEO Suzanne Nossel released the following statement: 

“As the first organization to file suit challenging the president’s First Amendment violations, PEN America applauds today’s court decision vindicating the First Amendment, temporarily reinstating CNN reporter Jim Acosta’s press pass and repudiating the government’s claim that the president’s right to an orderly press conference trumps the American people’s right to a free press. The government’s argument was an affront to the First Amendment and evinced contempt for freedom of the press by those who have sworn to defend it. This posture is why PEN America, an organization of writers and journalists dedicated to free expression, filed suit against President Trump, targeting the breadth of his First Amendment violations, including not just restricting access for White House correspondents, but also his threats and use of the machinery of government to retaliate against media outlets for critical coverage or tough questions. Major news outlets rightly stood together in defense of their essential role to cover the White House, hold the Administration accountable and inform the American public. Although this case is not over, today’s decision is a win not just for CNN but for the role of a free press, an underpinning of democracy that has come under unprecedented attack by this Administration.”


PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible.

CONTACT: Anoosh Gasparian, External Relations Manager: