A federal judge has tossed out Sarah Palin’s lawsuit against The New York Times. The former Alaska governor took the paper to court after the editors published a piece that falsely linked her to the 2011 shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ). Palin claims it was defamation, but the judge did not believe it was quite that serious.
News: Federal judge tosses Sarah Palin's lawsuit against the New York Times. Negligence, maybe. But "not defamation of a public figure."— ErikWemple (@ErikWemple) August 29, 2017
In its disputed piece about the shooting at the Republican congressional baseball practice, the Times linked Palin and her supporters' rhetoric as having led to the Giffords shooting, despite that narrative having been debunked countless times. The shooter, Jared Lee Loughner, was a mentally unstable young man. Palin and her Super PAC had nothing to do with his actions. Realizing this too late, the Times issued a correction.
Palin still wanted to hold the editors accountable for their oversight. Yet, Judge Jed Rakoff in Manhattan claimed her argument was "materially deficient."
Judge says Palin claim was "materially deficient" b/c it didn't name a specific person. NYT piece had no byline... pic.twitter.com/NlzPLYvqH6— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) August 29, 2017
The judge may have ruled in the Times's favor, but the defense did themselves no favors. When they had a chance to make their case, the editors explained how they failed to refer to their earlier stories on the Giffords shooting, and they were pressed for time.
Expect Palin to appeal the judge’s decision.