Sarah Palin's lawsuit against NYT reinstated - Must Read Alaska
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Tuesday, August 20, 2019
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Sarah Palin’s lawsuit against NYT reinstated

Sarah Palin

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s defamation lawsuit against the New York Times has been reinstated by a panel of New York judges in the Second Court of Appeals. The decision reverses a previous district court decision that dismissed her 2017 lawsuit.

The judges wrote that the lower court decision was based on an “unusual process” used to determine the validity Palin’s claim.

[Read the judges’ opinion at this link: 2019-0806-palin-nyt-opinion-2nd-circuit]

“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,” Circuit Judge John M. Walker wrote.  “We further conclude that Palin’s Proposed Amended Complaint plausibly states a claim for defamation and may proceed to full discovery.”

The case involves the Jan. 8, 2011 shooting at a political rally, when Jared Loughner shot Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson, Arizona, killing six people and wounding Giffords.

Shortly before the attack, Palin’s political action committee “SarahPAC” had produced a map that superimposed a target symbol on certain Democratic congressional  districts. Giffords’ district was in the crosshairs.

Although there was no evidence linking the image to the shooting of Giffords, and while there is a lot of evidence showing that Loughner acted on his own without being influenced by the political message, six years later an editorial in the New York Times, written after another political shooting occurred, blamed the Giffords’ massacre on the SaraPAC, saying it had incited the violence.

The decision to reopen the case comes at a time when Democrats are accusing President Donald Trump for the recent mass shooting outbreak.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • This is great news. The media should have to pay through the nose for lies….cannot hide behind the first amendment. The first amendment grants certain rights but it’s not an Open season for political assassination or to promote their own agenda.

    • I disagree with your premise about them promoting their own agenda. The First Amendment guarantees just that. Journalists have always been of one political color or another throughout U.S. history.

      Where the line has always been drawn is defamation and libel/slander, which I believe is more to your point. I understand defamation is a tougher standard for political figures to prove, however (think political cartoons or parody), and they have always had to endure half truths and lies.

  • I have little regard for the New York Times. I would welcome successful litigation to hold it accountable for defamation. That said, the plaintiff in this case is not likely to be viewed sympatheticly by the folks that sit as federal judges these days. In the end, this litigation will likely produce nothing but gear-spinning.

  • I hope The Neighbor Lady cleans their clock!

  • ME TOO!!!!

  • Aren’t Editorials Opinion Pieces??

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