Sarah Palin’s Libel Suit Against New York Times Thrown Out by Judge

U.S. District Court Judge Jed Rakoff on Monday dismissed former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s libel suit against The New York Times.

According to Rakoff’s ruling, issued just as the jury began deliberations, Palin’s lawyers failed to produce sufficient evidence that the Times knew that what it wrote about her in a 2017 editorial was false or that the paper’s staff acted recklessly — the legal standard in libel cases involving public figures.

Palin claimed that the newspaper defamed her by featuring her in an editorial an editorial that mistakenly connected one of her political action committees to the deadly 2011 Arizona shooting that wounded then-U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords. The Times later added a correction to the editorial.

Palin’s suit against the Times was previously dismissed in 2017 by Rakoff, but was resurrected by a federal appeals court in 2019. When Rakoff dismissed the suit in 2017, he wrote in his ruling that Palin did not demonstrate that the Times showed actual malice. In her lawsuit, Palin alleged that the paper falsely accused her of inciting the near-fatal shooting of Giffords.

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