Palin tries and fails to secure new libel trial against New York Times


On Tuesday, a judge denied former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s request for a new libel trial against The New York Times. 

It was the House GOP candidate and former vice presidential nominee’s second attempt to lance the Times over a 2017 editorial she said harmed her reputation. The piece in question falsely linked her campaign rhetoric to a 2011 mass shooting. The Times issued a correction to the post the next day.

U.S. District Court Judge Jed Rakoff dismissed Palin’s case in February after hearing arguments from both parties. Palin and her team “wholly failed to prove her case even to the minimum standard required by law,” he said at the time. 

And he didn’t mince words when rejecting Palin’s request on Tuesday either. According to the Associated Press, Rakoff wrote that Palin and her team failed to provide “even a speck” of evidence showing the Times acted with actual malice when they published the editorial.

Palin’s attorneys claimed Rakoff made mistakes during the jury selection and deliberation process that warranted his recusal or a new trial, but the judge rejected those claims outright. 

“In actuality, none of these was erroneous, let alone a basis for granting Palin a new trial,” Rakoff wrote.

The libel trial was a long shot from the beginning. Palin’s own lawyer admitted he was “keenly aware of the fact that we’re fighting an uphill battle” during opening arguments. And in theory, Palin should be a busy woman these days. She’s in the middle of a crowded GOP primary race to succeed the late Alaska Rep. Don Young. Even if she were to win the special general election in August, she would need to win the seat again in November since Young’s term was scheduled to end this year.

All of this is to say: Palin’s time would probably be better spent trying to redeem her political career than trying to stick it to the Times. 

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