The jury selection and trial in Sarah Palin’s libel lawsuit against The New York Times had been set to start on Monday, but there is an unexpected twist: The former Alaska governor tested positive for Covid.
U.S. District Court Judge Jed Rakoff informed attorneys that he would wait for Palin to have a reliable test at 10:15AM before deciding whether to delay the proceedings or not.
Palin’s case is one of the rare instances of a libel suit against a major media outlet to go to trial, given the high bar that public figures have in proving defamation against media outlets.
Palin sued The Times in 2017 for an editorial in which she claimed her political rhetoric was falsely linked to the shooting of Gabby Giffords, 2011. The Times corrected the editorial, conceding that it had incorrectly characterized a map from Palin’s political action committee that featured crosshairs over certain Democrats’ electoral districts.
The original dismissal of the case was reversed after an appeal.
Palin asserts that the Times editorial damaged Palin’s reputation, and that the Times correction was inadequate.
Two positive antigen tests were performed on Palin Sunday by Rakoff, who indicated that the results were normal. “normal at home test whose reliability is not as high as the test that she will be taking today.”
More to follow.