Federal appeals court dismissed by Sarah Palin emergency relief petition seeking a new libel suit against The New York Times.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit denied Palin’s motion for what is called a writ of mandamus, seeking extraordinary relief to correct an abuse of discretion. Lawyers for the former Alaska governor claimed his case reached this level after the senior U.S. district judge Jed Rakoff dismissed his case before the jury returned its verdict.
A panel of three judges curtly disagreed, in a one-paragraph summary order.
“After careful consideration, it is hereby ORDERED that the motion be DENIED because relief from mandamus is not warranted in the present circumstances,” the statement said. order States. “However, the denial of the petition is without prejudice to the issues presented in the petition addressed in the petitioner’s pending appeal, which will be assigned to a new panel in the normal course.”
The decision was approved by the judges of the American circuit John M. Walker, Jr. and Denny Chinas well as U.S. District Judge John F. Keenansitting by appointment.
Another trio of judges will hear the appeal.
Earlier this year, on Valentine’s Day, Judge Rakoff ruled that no reasonable jury could find that the Time defamed Palin when he briefly published a 2017 op-ed linking her to Jared Lee Loughner massacre.
An early draft of the story, which ran about 12 hours before being corrected, noted that Palin’s political action committee had distributed a map that appeared to have stylized crosshairs over the district of Rep. Gabrielle Gifford (D-Arizona), who was injured in the mass shooting. No link has ever been established between the shooting and the map.
Chief Editor James Benet edited the column, with a significant correction, after others in the newsroom alerted him to the error.
Rakoff found that Palin did not set the high bar for proving actual malice by showing that Bennet either had actual knowledge the claim was false before publication or a reckless disregard for the truth. Current malice standard protects press freedom in the United States since Supreme Court watershed New York Times vs. Sullivan decision in 1964.
The jury accepted Rakoff’s assessment the following day, concluding that the Time not trustworthy. Several jurors later acknowledged that they had received push alerts about Rakoff’s earlier decision, but insisted it was not factored into their verdict.
Earlier this month, Rakoff dismissed Palin’s request for a new trial as “totally baseless” – and rejected their parallel offer to assign the case to another judge. The Second Circuit previously overturned Rakoff’s first decision to dismiss Palin’s lawsuit, criticizing him for conducting an unusual hearing with Bennet’s testimony.
Such fact-gathering typically occurs during the discovery phase, which had not begun until the motion to dismiss was decided.
Read the order of the second circuit below:
(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
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