Speed Reads


Judge says he will dismiss Sarah Palin's libel case against The New York Times

A federal judge in New York said Monday he will dismiss a libel lawsuit former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin filed against The New York Times over a 2017 editorial.

The editorial linked Palin to the 2011 mass shooting in Arizona that left six people dead and seriously injured former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-Ariz.). Palin accused the Times and former editorial page director James Bennet of defaming her by unfairly connecting her to the incident.

U.S. District Court Judge Jed Rakoff said in his ruling that Palin's attorneys did not produce adequate evidence showing that the Times knew the information was false or acted with "actual malice." Rakoff also said the jury in the case will continue deliberating, since it's likely Palin will appeal and he wants a future court to consider their verdict. Jurors are expected to continue deliberations on Tuesday.

The Times' editorial suggested a link between a shooting map that Palin's political action committee issued and the Arizona shooting. There were mistakes made during the editing process, Bennet testified, and within hours of the editorial being published, the Times issued two corrections. In her lawsuit, Palin claimed that because of this editorial, her reputation was damaged and she lost opportunities for speaking engagements.

Rakoff said this was "an example of very unfortunate editorializing on the part of the Times, but, having said that, that's not the issue before this court."