A Michigan judge with the same name as the federal judge who restored CNN reporter Jim Acosta’s access to the White House has been receiving angry calls over the ruling.
Furious callers mistook Bay County District Court Judge Timothy J. Kelly for US District Court Judge Timothy J. Kelly for the District of Columbia.
US District Judge Kelly granted Acosta a two-week injunction to return to work on November 16.
Meanwhile, on November 16 Bay County Judge Kelly was out of the office.
The White House had initially revoked Acosta’s credentials after he and President Donald Trump tangled verbally during a November 7 press conference.
Furious callers mistook Bay County District Court Judge Timothy J. Kelly (left) for US District Court Judge Timothy J. Kelly (right) for the District of Columbia
US District Judge Kelly granted CNN reporter Jim Acosta (pictured) a two-week injunction to return to work on November 16. Meanwhile, on November 16 Bay County Judge Kelly was out of the office
Judge Kelly’s Bay City’s office received a half-dozen phone calls complaining about the other Timothy J. Kelly’s ruling, according to MLive.com.
Bay County Judge Kelly said he thinks the callers ‘would at least do your homework’ before calling someone to complain.
‘In my line of work, of course, you expect to be criticized for some of your decisions,’ Bay County Judge Kelly told the news site.
‘That goes with the territory. However, to be criticized for decisions you didn’t make… It just makes you wonder.’
Bay County Judge Kelly’s court recorder and judicial secretary Alexa Pobanz said she was initially bewildered by the calls.
‘It took me three or four calls to figure out what they were talking about,’ Pobanz told MLive.
‘People didn’t identify themselves necessarily; they just started in – “This is the worst ruling ever made by the judge today.” I was very confused.’
Pobanz said every single call was someone who just wanted to complain.
On Monday, the Trump administration abruptly dropped its effort to bar Acosta from the White House, but warned he could have his credentials pulled again if he doesn’t follow guidelines governing journalists’ behavior.
The White House said reporters would be permitted one question each if called upon at news conferences and allowed follow-ups only at the discretion of the president.
In a letter to Acosta, White House communications director Bill Shine and press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said they will be forced to reconsider the decision ‘if unprofessional behavior occurs’.
CNN said that, as a result, it has dropped its lawsuit against the White House filed on Acosta’s behalf.
On Monday, the Trump administration abruptly dropped its effort to bar Acosta (pictured, walking into the White House) from the White House, but warned he could have his credentials pulled again if he doesn’t follow guidelines governing journalists’ behavior
‘Thanks to everyone for their support,’ Acosta tweeted. ‘As I said last Friday … let’s get back to work.’
Acosta’s credentials were revoked earlier this month, with the Trump administration’s initial reasoning being that Acosta had manhandled a White House intern seeking to take his microphone.
But that fell apart after Sanders distributed a doctored video sped up to make Acosta look more aggressive than he actually was.
Instead, the White House focused on behavior they deemed disrespectful to the president.
The White House had initially revoked Acosta’s credentials after he and President Donald Trump tangled verbally during a November 7 press conference
Acosta and CNN have been frequent targets of a president who has derided coverage of his administration as ‘fake news’ and called the media the enemy of the people.
CNN filed suit to get Acosta’s credentials restored, arguing that the action violated the constitutional right to freedom of the press and that he had been denied due process.
After DC District Court Judge Kelly cited the due process argument last Friday in granting Acosta a two-week injunction to get back to work, the White House initially fought back, saying it had made a preliminary decision to keep Acosta out when the two weeks were up.
But after CNN requested a hearing, Shine and Sanders changed course.
‘The view from here is that White House interaction with the press is, and generally should be, subject to kind of a natural give and take,’ Shine and Sanders wrote.
‘President Trump believes strongly in the First Amendment and interacts with the press in just such a way. It would be a great loss for all if, instead of this give-and-take, and instead of relying on the professionalism of White House journalists, we were compelled to devise a lengthy and detailed code of conduct.’
The White House Correspondents Association said the White House did the right thing in restoring Acosta’s pass.
The WHCA said it had no role in crafting any of the new procedures, and objected to one.
‘For as long as there have been White House press conferences, White House reporters have asked follow-up questions,’ said Olivier Knox, WHCA president. ‘We fully expect this tradition will continue.’