Palin v. NYT Round II: Judge say ex-gov didn't introduce 'speck' of evidence for second libel trial

The judge denied Palin's request for a new trial.
Sarah Palin, New York City, Feb. 14, 2022

The judge who presided over Sarah Palin's label case against The New York Times has denied her request for a new trial, saying she failed to introduce "even a speck" of evidence necessary to prove malicious intent by the newspaper.

The decision came from U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff, who rejected post-trial claims from Palin's attorneys. Her lawyers had asked the judge to grant a new trial or disqualify himself for being biased against the politicians, citing several evidentiary rulings by Rakoff that they said were errors.

The supposed errors ranged from the way the questioning of the jury took place to how the jurors were instructed when they asked questions during deliberations. 

"In actuality, none of these was erroneous, let alone a basis for granting Palin a new trial," Rakoff said.

Regardless of the post-trial motions, Rakoff wrote that Plain was required at a trial that took place earlier this year to show that an error in a New York Times editorial was motived by malice on behalf of the newspaper.

"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," Rakoff said.

The libel suit from Palin centers on a 2017 editorial in which the paper erroneously connected Palin's campaign rhetoric to a mass shooting in Arizona, which she said damaged her reputation and political career. The paper acknowledged the assertion was inaccurate, but said it quickly amended the mistake.

In February, prior to the jury completing its deliberations, Rakoff said he intended to dismiss the suit because Palin had not introduced evidence that showed the Times had acted out of malice. Jurors ultimately rejected the suit as well.