May 31, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Judge denies Sarah Palin's bid for new libel trial

Sarah Palin.

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin speaks with reporters in New York City as she leaves a federal court on Feb. 14 . Photo: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

A judge has denied Sarah Palin's bid for a new trial in the defamation case against the New York Times, according to a written decision filed Tuesday.

Why it matters: U.S. District Judge Jed S. Rakoff ruled that Palin failed to show “even a speck” of evidence needed to satisfy any burden of proof that the New York Times defamed her in 2017 regarding an op-ed piece which erroneously linked her political rhetoric to the shooting of Arizona Rep. Gabby Giffords.

  • Palin ultimately failed to prove the Times was publishing false information or that its editors recklessly disregarded evidence despite admitted missteps during the editorial process, according to the judge's decision.
  • Palin did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment regarding the judge's ruling on Monday evening.

What they're saying: “The striking thing about the trial here was that Palin, for all her earlier assertions, could not in the end introduce even a speck of such evidence,” Rakoff wrote in his decision.

  • “A mistake is not enough to win if it was not motivated by actual malice," he added.
  • "Here, Palin still cannot identify any affirmative evidence to support the essential element of actual malice. This absence is not a consequence of trial procedures, judicial bias, or adverse evidentiary rulings."

The big picture: In March, a federal judge in Manhattan dismissed Palin's defamation suit against the New York Times.

  • "When the media has already clobbered you, as bad as you can get clobbered, and the haters, you're not going to change their mind," Palin told Newsmax TV.
  • The New York Times had previously never lost a defamation suit on American soil.

Of note: In April, Palin announced she would run for Alaska's only congressional seat, following the death of Republican Rep. Don Young.

  • Palin will face off against roughly 40 candidates for the vacant seat, per the New York Times.
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