Sarah Palin’s libel lawsuit against the New York Times is back in the courts.
In an Aug. 6 ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that the previous court that dismissed the case “erred in relying on facts outside the pleading to dismiss the complaint.” The ruling said Palin’s case “plausibly states a claim for defamation and may proceed to full discovery.” The ruling says:
“This case is ultimately about the First Amendment, but the subject matter implicated in this appeal is far less dramatic: rules of procedure and pleading standards.”
Times spokesperson Eileen Murphy told iMediaEthics by e-mail, “We are disappointed in the decision and intend to continue to defend the action vigorously.”
Libby Locke and Ken Turkel, Palin’s attorneys, provided iMediaEthics with the following statement: “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.”
Palin first sued the Times back in 2017 over an editorial that linked her to the 2011 shooting of Rep. Gabby Giffords. The editorial claimed that Jared Lee Loughner was incited to shoot Giffords after seeing Palin’s political action committee’s map of electoral districts with crosshairs on them. The Times corrected its editorial within 13 hours to note “no link was ever established” between the map and Loughner’s actions.
In August 2017, Palin’s lawsuit was thrown out, with Manhattan judge Jed Rakoff ruling the “few factual inaccuracies” were “very rapidly corrected,” amounting to “negligence this may be; but defamation of a public figure it plainly is not,” as iMediaEthics reported at the time.
Hat Tip: Law & Crime