A judge has denied Sarah Palin‘s request for a new trial in her defamation case against The New York Times, saying the former Alaska governor was “unable to deliver at trial admissible evidence that remotely supported her claim.”
Palin sued the Times for defamation in 2017, after an editorial in the paper linked the 2011 shooting of Gabby Giffords to a map circulated by Palin’s political action group, which showed specific electoral districts under cross-hairs.
The Times piece initially stated there was a link between the map and the shooting, though the paper corrected that two days later, admitting no such link was established.
“We’re sorry about this and we appreciate that our readers called us on the mistake,” the paper said in a social media post.
On the stand at the trial, former Times editorial page editor James Bennet called the incident a “terrible mistake,” the AP reported.
“We are human beings. We do make mistakes,” Bennet said, adding: “I’ve regretted it pretty much every day since. That’s on me. That’s my failure.”
Palin, meanwhile, likened the case to a “David and Goliath” story — saying she had lost sleep over the editorial, which she claimed had damaged her career.
“It was devastating to read a false accusation that I had anything to do with murder,” Palin said during the trial, per earlier reporting by the Associated Press. “I felt powerless — that I was up against Goliath. The people were David. I was David.”
In February, Federal Judge Jed S. Rakoff ruled that Palin failed to prove The New York Times acted with “actual malice” when it falsely linked her political group to a 2011 mass shooting — meaning her potentially precedent-upending libel suit against the paper would be dismissed.
On Tuesday, Rakoff weighed in once more, saying the court denied “in full” her bid for a new trial.
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“In a defamation case brought by a public figure like Sarah Palin, a mistake is not enough to win if it was not motivated by actual malice,” Judge Rakoff wrote in his opinion, CNN reports. “And 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.”