Judge dismisses Palin libel case against New York Times

Judge dismisses Palin libel case against New York Times

Judge CLOSES Palin’s New York Times libel case because her lawyers failed to prove ‘actual malice’

A New York judge dismissed Sarah Palin’s libel suit against The New York Times because her lawyers failed to provide evidence that the newspaper knew what was written about her was false or acted recklessly.

U.S. District Court Judge Jed Rakoff delivered the ruling Monday afternoon as jurors debated where the Times had slandered her by linking her to the 2011 Arizona shooting. However, he said he would allow the jury to reach a verdict, but would close the case as soon as it did so.

He will order Palin’s claim dismissed, but will take effect after her jury has finished its own deliberations. Rakoff said he expected Palin to appeal and that the appellate court “would really benefit from knowing how the jury would decide this.”

Rakoff’s unusual order effectively prevented a possible opposite jury verdict.

Palin is suing the paper and former editorial page editor James Bennett, alleging that a 2017 editorial incorrectly linked it to a mass shooting six years earlier that wounded Democratic Congresswoman Gabby Giffords.

Sarah Palin arrived at the Manhattan courthouse holding hands with her former NHL boyfriend Ron Duguet for the second time on Thursday.

Sarah Palin arrived at the Manhattan courthouse holding hands with her former NHL boyfriend Ron Duguet for the second time on Thursday.

Major media outlets rarely defend their editorial practices in court, as the Times had to do in this case.

Palin said that if she loses in court, her appeal could challenge the US Supreme Court’s 1964 New York Times v. Sullivan decision, which sets the “actual malice” standard for public figures to prove defamation.

The lawsuit concerned an editorial dated June 14, 2017, titled “America’s Deadly Politics”, which spoke about gun control and lamented the rise in inflammatory political rhetoric.

It was written on the same day as the congressional baseball practice shooting in Alexandria, Virginia, where Republican Congressman Steve Scalise was shot.

One of Bennett’s colleagues prepared a draft that mentioned the January 2011 parking lot shooting in Tucson, Arizona, where six people were killed and Giffords was wounded.

Bennett inserted language saying that “the link to political incitement was clear” between the Gifford shooting and the map previously circulated by Palin’s political action committee, which the draft editorial said put Giffords and 19 other Democrats in the crosshairs.

This is an evolving story.

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