Sarah Palin Appeals New York Times Defamation Verdict


Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is preparing to take another shot at The New York Times.

The onetime Republican nominee for vice president on Thursday formally filed to appeal her defamation case against the newspaper, a month after a judge and jury decided against her.

Palin had been widely expected to appeal if she did not get her way in court.

She is seeking monetary damages for being named in a New York Times opinion article published in the wake of the 2017 Virginia congressional baseball shooting, which severely injured Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.).

The editorial, largely written by former New York Times opinion editor James Bennett, inaccurately linked Palin to an earlier mass shooting. Although the Times issued two corrections and removed the language about Palin, she testified at trial that it was “devastating” to see the paper associate her with the Arizona mass shooting that killed six people in 2011. Palin felt “powerless” about it, she testified.

Press freedom advocates watched the trial closely, as it was widely viewed as a potential test of long-established defamation law.

After both sides presented their case and the jury went to deliberate, Judge Jed S. Rakoff announced he would grant the Times’ attorneys Rule 50 motion — meaning that he would toss the case because Palin’s side had not met its high burden of proof. No reasonable jury, Rakoff said, would be able to side with Palin.

Rakoff allowed the jury to come to a decision to help the 2nd Circuit appeals court, where Palin filed suit on Thursday, eventually evaluate the case. The jury in February agreed with Rakoff.


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