Sarah Palin Tests Positive For Covid, Potentially Delaying Start Of Trial In Her Libel Suit Against New York Times – Deadline

The jury selection and trial in Sarah Palin’s libel lawsuit against The New York Times had been set to start on Monday, but there is an unexpected twist: The former Alaska governor tested positive for Covid.

U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff told attorneys that he would wait until Palin has another, more reliable test at 10:15 AM before deciding whether to delay the proceedings, perhaps until Feb. 3.

Palin’s case is one of the rare instances of a libel suit against a major media outlet to go to trial, given the high bar that public figures have in proving defamation against media outlets.

Palin sued the Times in 2017 over an editorial she said falsely linked her political rhetoric to the 2011 shooting of Gabby Giffords in 2017. The Times corrected the editorial, conceding that it had incorrectly characterized a map from Palin’s political action committee that featured crosshairs over certain Democrats’ electoral districts.

The case was originally dismissed but was reversed on appeal.

Palin claims that the Times editorial damaged her reputation and that the Times correction was insufficient.

Palin had two positive antigen tests on Sunday, but Rakoff indicated that it was a “normal at home test whose reliability is not as high as the test that she will be taking today.”

More to come.


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