Sarah Palin sued the NYT for defamation after they ran an editorial tying campaign material to the shooting of Gabby Giffords.
The lower court had tossed out the suit but the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated the case, claiming that the lower court used “unusual” procedures to toss the suit out and they ruled that the case can continue because Palin has a plausible case for defamation.
The case will go back to the lower court for adjudication. Palin filed the original suit in 2017 and as usual, a conservative faced activist judges protecting one of their own.
There were two primary reasons the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sent the case back to the lower court. First of all, the court ruled that the lower court used an “unusual” procedure to evaluate Palin’s legal team’s arguments, using the facts obtained in a special hearing to dismiss the case.
More crucially to the future of this lawsuit, the appeals court ruled that Palin’s case “plausibly states a claim for defamation and may proceed to full discovery.”
An excerpt from the editorial reads:
“Was this attack evidence of how vicious American politics has become? Probably. In 2011, Jared Lee Loughner opened fire in a supermarket parking lot, grievously wounding Representative Gabby Giffords and killing six people, including a 9-year-old girl. At the time, we and others were sharply critical of the heated political rhetoric on the right. Before the shooting, Sarah Palin’s political action committee circulated a map that showed the targeted electoral districts of Ms. Giffords and 19 other Democrats under stylized cross hairs.”
The editorial was corrected to add the sentence “But in that case no connection to the shooting was ever established.”
When the lawsuit was originally thrown out by the lower court, the judge wrote that Palin’s lawyers’ evidence “consists either of gross supposition or of evidence so weak that, even together, these items cannot support the high degree of particularized proof.”