Judge Savagely Shoots Down Sarah Palin's Request For New Trial Against NYT In Blunt Ruling
U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff denied former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin's request for a new trial in her libel case against The New York Times.
Rakoff claimed the Republican politician didn't provide "even a speck" of evidence that would indicate any malice towards her from the newspaper.
\u201cSarah Palin lost her bid for a new trial in her libel case against The New York Times. A judge ruled that she had failed to produce \u201ceven a speck\u201d of evidence to prove the newspaper had defamed her in a 2017 editorial. https://t.co/4Jx0iqVPHE\u201d— The New York Times (@The New York Times) 1654079225
In 2017, the New York Times ran an editorial in which they suggested an image produced by Palin's political action committee incited the 2011 shooting of Arizona Representative Gabby Giffords.
Palin's attorneys asked Rakoff to grant a new trial or disqualify himself as biased against her.
They claimed several of his evidentiary rulings were inaccurate, including from how jurors were questioned during jury selection to how they were coached when asking questions during deliberations.
On Tuesday, Rakoff rejected those post-trial claims.
He asserted in his written decision:
“In actuality, none of these was erroneous, let alone a basis for granting Palin a new trial."
\u201cWell done, Judge Rakoff! Final score: Freedom of the Press 1, Sara Palin 0. \nThin skin and politics don't mix.\u201d— John Sheehan (@John Sheehan) 1504748942
“And the striking thing about the trial here was that Palin, for all her earlier assertions, could not, in the end, introduce even a speck of such evidence."
\u201c@nytimes Great. This should free up some time for her to continue all the important work she is doing\u2026 like watching old Bonanza reruns.\u201d— The New York Times (@The New York Times) 1654079225
\u201c@nytimes The Tea and MAGA folks think that they can go to court with no evidence and their rhetoric will suffice like it does in politics.\u201d— The New York Times (@The New York Times) 1654079225
Charlie Stadtlander—a spokesperson for the Times—said in a statement:
"We are pleased to see the court's decision, and remain confident that the judge and jury decided the case fairly and correctly."
\u201c@nytimes Money lost nothing gained\u201d— The New York Times (@The New York Times) 1654079225
\u201c@HuffPost Apparently this has become the Republican mantra:\n\u25aa\ufe0fScream about being wronged\n\u25aa\ufe0fSue or appeal to the highest court you can\n\u25aa\ufe0fDon\u2019t offer ANY evidence that what you are saying is at all accurate\n\u25aa\ufe0fBlame someone else\u201d— HuffPost (@HuffPost) 1654047293
Palin—who in 2008 ran as a Republican Vice Presidential candidate alongside the late Arizona Senator John McCain—claimed the editorial's "political incitement" of her damaged her career.
The Times acknowledged their editorial was inaccurate and made corrections to the errors.
The publication stated it was an "honest mistake" and added they never meant to cause harm to Palin's reputation.
\u201c@HuffPost \u201c\u2026which Palin asserted damaged her reputation and career.\u201d\n\nThe only thing that \u201cdamaged her reputation and career\u201d was her reputation and career.\u201d— HuffPost (@HuffPost) 1654047293
In February, Rakoff announced he planned to dismiss Palin's lawsuit before the jury completed deliberations.
His intention was based on Palin's failure to provide evidence the Times had acted maliciously–which is required in libel suits involving public figures.
The following day, the jurors themselves rejected Palin's lawsuit.