A judge ruled last week that Sarah Palin’s defamation lawsuit against the NY Times can proceed to a jury trial. This comes after the same judge previously dismissed the case but it was reinstated after an appeals court ruled in Palin’s favor. The NY Times covered the story last Friday. For some reason the story was assigned to the person who usually covers the “business of transportation, with a focus on autonomous vehicles, airlines and logistics.”
The suit, filed in June 2017, is centered on a Times editorial published that month under the headline “America’s Lethal Politics.”…
The judge, Jed S. Rakoff of Federal District Court in Manhattan, dismissed Ms. Palin’s suit two months after it was filed, saying of the mistaken editorial: “Negligence this may be; but defamation of a public figure it plainly is not.” Last year, a three-judge panel overturned that decision and reinstated the case.
On Friday, weeks after lawyers for Ms. Palin and The Times made arguments at a hearing, Judge Rakoff denied a Times motion for summary judgment. In ordering the case to proceed, he said there was “sufficient evidence to allow a rational finder of fact to find actual malice by clear and convincing evidence.” He set a Feb. 1 trial date.
In case you’ve forgotten, the Times’ editorial was written shortly after a shooting by a deranged Bernie Sanders supporter which nearly killed Rep. Steve Scalise and others who were having a baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia. After recounting the shooting the the Times’ offered this call back to a previous shooting involving a member of congress [emphasis added]: