A U.S. District Court judge ruled that a libel lawsuit filed by Sarah Palin against the New York Times should be thrown out. The judge says lawyers failed to reach the high standards required for public figures to make their case.
The ruling came as the jury was deliberating the case in Manhattan. Judge Jed Rakoff said he would allow the jury to continue deliberating the case, saying that an appeal in the case seems inevitable and that the jury’s verdict could be useful to the appeals court. The jury is to continue deliberations Tuesday morning.
“The law here sets a very high standard for ‘actual malice,’ and to this case, the court finds that that standard has not been met.” Rakoff had initially dismissed Palin’s suit, but it was reinstated by an appeals court that directed him to reconsider. The four-and-a-half year process led to the trial that wrapped up closing arguments on Friday.NPR
“The ruling is reassuring,” says Eve Burton, the chief legal officer for the Hearst Corp. The judiciary branch, she says, “is predictably and accurately playing the critical role needed in protecting the press in everyday reporting of the news, even when we get some things wrong accidentally.”