Appeals court rules Sarah Palin’s defamation lawsuit against NY Times is back on

(File Photo by RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Sarah Palin’s defamation lawsuit against The New York Times is back on, two years after a lower court judge dismissed the case.

On Tuesday, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Palin can move forward with her defamation lawsuit that linked her to a 2011 mass shooting. This coming on the heels of a pair of shootings last weekend that claimed the lives of 31 people.

The former Alaska governor sued the newspaper in 2017 over an editorial that tied an ad by Palin’s super PAC to the shooting of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., but the case was thrown out later that year by a federal judge in the Southern District of New York — imagine that.

The ad in question featured cross-hairs denoting the districts of Democrats who voted for Obamacare that the GOP carried in the 2008 election, one of which was Gifford’s district.

SaraPAC.com

But the June 2017 editorial, which was in response to the Bernie Sanders supporter opening fire on Republican lawmakers at a congressional baseball practice, claimed the cross-hairs were placed over the faces of Democratic lawmakers.

Several people were wounded in the attack on the GOP lawmakers, including now-Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., who underwent an arduous recovery process to return to Congress.

In her lawsuit, Palin claimed the Times ran a claim it “knew to be false.”

Palin tweeted a quote Tuesday from her attorneys, Elizabeth Locke and Ken Turkel, while linking to a Law & Crime article.

“This is—and has always been—a case about media accountability. We are pleased with the Court’s decision, and we look forward to starting discovery and ultimately proceeding to trial,” the statement read.

The Times issued a correction and pulled the parts of the editorial linking the Palin ad to the 2011 shooting in Arizona, where gunman Jared Loughner killed six people and severely wounded Giffords.

“An earlier version of this editorial incorrectly stated that a link existed between political incitement and the 2011 shooting of Representative Gabby Giffords. In fact, no such link was established,” the correction read, according to The Hill.

Palin’s lawsuit was dismissed by U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff, a Clinton appointee, who ruled that she didn’t meet the legal standard of showing malice toward a public figure, which is required in defamation cases.

Three appellate judges on the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that Rakoff violated the federal rules of procedure for courts — the case was remanded back to the District Court and will now proceed to discovery.

 

Tom Tillison

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