Sarah Palin loses defamation lawsuit against New York Times

Sarah Palin defamation
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Sarah Palin loses defamation lawsuit against New York Times

A U.S. jury on Tuesday ruled against Sarah Palin in her libel lawsuit accusing the New York Times (NYT.N) of defaming her in a 2017 editorial that incorrectly linked her to a mass shooting, after the presiding judge already had said he would dismiss the case regardless of the verdict.

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The nine-person jury in Manhattan federal court needed about two days to unanimously conclude that the Times was not liable to Palin, the former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican U.S. vice presidential candidate.

Palin is expected to appeal defamation decision.

Her case is considered a major test of libel protections for American media under the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment free press guarantee and under a landmark 1964 U.S. Supreme Court decision, New York Times v Sullivan.

That decision established an “actual malice” standard for public figures like Palin to prove defamation, meaning that media knowingly published false information or had a reckless disregard for the truth.

On Monday, U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff in Manhattan said Palin had not met that “very high” standard, even as he faulted the Times for “very unfortunate editorializing” in “America’s Lethal Politics,” the editorial Palin challenged.

He said letting the jurors reach a verdict could avoid complications should Palin appeal.

Rakoff told the jury about his planned dismissal only after they had finished deliberations.

“We reached the same bottom line, but on different grounds,” he told jurors. “You decided the facts. I decided the law.”

The trial lasted nine days.

“We are obviously disappointed with the verdict. We are obviously disappointed with yesterday’s order,” Palin’s lawyer Kenneth Turkel told reporters outside the courthouse.

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He said Palin would evaluate all options for an appeal, as she attempts to “seek redress against a giant media company that wields so much power.”

Times spokeswoman Danielle Rhoades Ha said the newspaper welcomed the verdict, which like Rakoff’s ruling recognized the importance of not punishing news media for unintended mistakes that are quickly corrected.

Sarah Palin loses defamation lawsuit against New York Times  ReutersSarah Palin loses defamation lawsuit against New York Times  ReutersRead More“when:24h allinurl:reuters.com” – Google News


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