NEW YORK (AP) — The judge who presided over Sarah Palin’s libel case against The Latest York Times denied her request Tuesday for a latest trial, saying she did not introduce “even a speck” of evidence needed to prove actual malice by the newspaper.
U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff made the assertion in a written decision as he rejected post-trial claims from Palin’s lawyers.
Her attorneys had asked the judge to grant a latest trial or disqualify himself as biased against her, citing several evidentiary rulings by Rakoff that they said were errors. Those ranged from how the questioning of jurors occurred during jury selection, to how jurors were instructed once they asked questions during deliberations.
“In fact, none of those was erroneous, let alone a basis for granting Palin a latest trial,” the judge said.
Rakoff wrote that no matter her post-trial motions, Palin was required at a trial earlier this 12 months to point out that an error in a broadcast editorial was motivated by actual malice — a requirement in libel lawsuits involving public figures.
“And the striking thing in regards to the trial here was that Palin, for all her earlier assertions, couldn’t in the long run introduce even a speck of such evidence,” he said.
Lawyers for Palin declined to comment on Rakoff’s ruling.
Lawyers for The Latest York Times didn’t immediately reply to comment requests.
The libel lawsuit by Palin, a one-time Republican vice-presidential candidate and former governor of Alaska, centered on the newspaper’s 2017 editorial falsely linking her campaign rhetoric to a mass shooting, which Palin asserted damaged her repute and profession.
The Times acknowledged their editorial was inaccurate, but said it quickly corrected the errors they called an “honest mistake” never meant to harm Palin.
Rakoff announced in February even before a jury accomplished its deliberations that he intended to dismiss the lawsuit because Palin had failed to point out that the Times acted out of malice. Jurors themselves rejected Palin’s lawsuit the subsequent day.
Rakoff said he thought it was fair to all parties not to attend for the jury’s verdict because he had already decided as a matter of law that the Palin hadn’t proven her case.
Her attorneys cited the timing of Rakoff’s announcement as yet another reason a latest trial must be ordered.