By LARRY NEUMEISTER, Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) — The judge who presided over Sarah Palin’s libel case against The New York Times on Tuesday denied her request for a new trial, saying she hadn’t presented “even a speck” of evidence necessary to prove the actual malice of the newspaper.
U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff made the assertion in a written ruling rejecting post-trial claims by Palin’s attorneys.
Her attorneys had asked the judge to grant a new trial or disqualify as biased against her, citing several evidentiary rulings by Rakoff that they said were errors. These ranged from how juror interrogations were conducted during jury selection to how jurors received instructions when asking questions during deliberations.
“In reality, none of this was wrong, let alone a basis for granting Palin a new trial,” the judge said.
Rakoff wrote that regardless of her post-trial motions, Palin had to at a trial earlier this year show that an error in a published editorial was motivated by genuine malice — a requirement in defamation suits involving public figures. public.
“And what is striking about the lawsuit here is that Palin, despite all of her prior assertions, was ultimately unable to introduce even a speck of evidence,” he said.
Palin’s attorneys declined to comment on Rakoff’s decision.
Lawyers for The New York Times did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The libel lawsuit brought by Palin, a former Republican vice-presidential candidate and former governor of Alaska, centered on the newspaper’s 2017 editorial wrongly linking her campaign rhetoric to a mass shooting, which, according to Palin, damaged her reputation and her career.
The Times acknowledged their editorial was inaccurate, but said it quickly corrected the errors, which they called an “honest mistake” that was never intended to harm Palin.
Rakoff announced in February, even before a jury had completed its deliberations, that he intended to dismiss the lawsuit because Palin had failed to prove that The Times acted maliciously. The jurors themselves dismissed Palin’s trial the following day.
Rakoff said he thought it was fair to all parties not to wait for the jury’s verdict because he had already decided in law that the Palin had not proven his case.
His lawyers cited the timing of Rakoff’s announcement as further reason for a new trial to be ordered.
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