Sarah Palin’s Libel Suit Dismissed

In a move that already has the right wing howling for blood, the judge in Sarah Palin’s suit against the New York Times has dismissed the case even as the jury is still deliberating. WaPo:

A judge on Monday indicated he will dismiss Sarah Palin’s libel case against the New York Times, saying she had not met the legal standard showing that the newspaper acted with “actual malice” in publishing a 2017 editorial that included an inaccurate claim about her.

Judge Jed S. Rakoff told the lawyers involved in the case that he will formally issue his ruling after a jury that has been deliberating since Friday returns its decision.

The judge will allow jury deliberations to continue. He assumes Palin will appeal the decisions, and he wants future courts to have both his ruling and the jury’s decision to consider.

As I understand it, the judge ruled on a suit to dismiss filed by the New York Times. He said Palin simply hadn’t met the “actual malice” and “reckless disregard” standards set by the Supreme Court in New York Times v. Sullivan (1964). See also The Right vs. Freedom of the Press.

Palin appears to have tanked her own case by behaving like a ditz on the stand and in the courtroom. (At one point she yelled “Objection!” When told only the lawyers could do that, she said “I just thought it was funny.”)  See especially Erik Wemple, Sarah Palin bombs on witness stand in New York Times trial and ‘All they had to do is dislike her a little less’: Palin lawyer slams NYT in closing argument.

8 thoughts on “Sarah Palin’s Libel Suit Dismissed

  1. Ah yes, Sistah Sara "All of them" Palin, still a silly, stupid, ignorant, and bigoted git!

    "You go, girl!  Now GIT!!!"

    Sara, time to go silent into that good night.

  2. "Palin appears to have tanked her own case by behaving like a ditz…"

    Sarah Palin did not have a case because she was unable to prove malice or damages. That's what the judge said (on the point of malice.) But she choked on the stand showing she was harmed by the mistake which the Times immediately noted and apologized for. This is a far cry from Fox becoming responsible about bias in election coverage the day after a massive lawsuit by Dominion was filed. 

    There is a larger issue here that conservatives want to address. Trump led on this from his first year in office – he wanted to end negative coverage by threats of lawsuits. The standard of damages and malice prevented that. Palin may appeal because she and Trump and a bunch of Republicans want to straight-arm the media into silence.

    The objective is weird. If Trump or Palin can sue for massive amounts if their feelings are hurt by an article, where does this leave Fox and their entire noise machine? I do not see how Fox could stay in business if malice and damages are eliminated as essential components.

    The question is will she appeal – she may think the USSC will change the rules. If they do, expect Trump to begin filing suits the day after. But I think the courts will decline to hear an appeal.

    • The judge had said earlier he would not be awarding damages because Palin hadn't shown how she'd been injured. But in his dismissal yesterday he cited the Sullivan standard — actual malice and reckless disregard for the truth — and said they hadn't been met. 

  3. Poor Palin she wanted to blame NYT for her career sinking.

    Honey, you used up your 15 minutes a long time ago.

  4. Let me just quote Ralph's comment from the WAPO from a recent article on the Babbling Barbie:


    Most of America's problems, or at least its inability to fix problems, stems from the fact that so many in leadership roles have grown up in bubbles, untouchable by criticism, unfavorable comparison, or authentic presentation of alternative views. Palin is just another example. The Trump Crime Family is another.


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