New York Times Editorial Writer Must Testify in Sarah Palin Lawsuit

The judge residing over the case called for an evidentiary hearing.

August 11, 2017 10:37 am
sarah palin
Former Governor Sarah Palin speaks during her appearance at Politicon at Pasadena Convention Center on June 26, 2016 in Pasadena, California. (Michael Schwartz/Getty Images)
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The New York federal court judge residing over Sarah Palin’s defamation lawsuit against the New York Times has called for an evidentiary hearingwrites The Hollywood Reporter

Judge Jed Rakoff said he needs to hear from the paper’s editorial writer(s) to decide whether the lawsuit should move forward.

The lawsuit is six weeks old. Palin is suing the Times over an editorial that linked one of Palin’s political action committee ads to a 2011 mass shooting that severely wounded then-Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords. The Times ran this editorial after a gunman opened fire at a baseball field where Republican lawmakers were practicing for an annual charity game.

The paper later issued a correction acknowledging that no link had been established. However Palin, a former Alaska governor and John McCain’s 2008 presidential running mate, claims the newspaper published something “it knew to be false,” writes The Hollywood Reporter. This would constitute malice, which is a necessary element in defamation lawsuits brought by public figures.

The Times is challenging whether Palin’s complaint contains sufficient allegations of actual malice.

Rakoff wants to hear from the editorial writer, or writers, under oath at a hearing next Wednesday. The paper “must produce them for no more than 30 minutes of examination by the papers’ lawyer to be followed by no more than 45 minutes of cross-examination by Palin’s attorney,” reports The Hollywood Reporter. The Times also gets an additional 15 minutes for redirect.

The court is also allowed to question each witness, Rakoff said.

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