Sarah Palin’s Libel Suit vs New York Times Rejected by Jury

A jury on Tuesday rejected former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s claim that The New York Times damaged her reputation in a story that linked her to a mass shooting in Arizona.

On Monday, a judge had declared that if the jury sided with Palin, he would set aside verdict that she had not proven the newspaper acted maliciously — which is required in a libel suit involving public figures.

According to U.S. District Court Judge Jed 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. Palin claimed that the newspaper defamed her by featuring her in 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.

Sarah Palin

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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