Judge says Sarah Palin is seeking new trial in New York Times defamation lawsuit

Sarah Palin in New York City
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin arrives to federal court in New York City on Feb. 11.
(Jeenah Moon / Associated Press)

A Manhattan judge said Wednesday that lawyers for former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin are seeking a new trial on her defamation claims against The New York Times, along with his removal from the case.

U.S. District Judge Jed S. Rakoff made the disclosure during a brief telephone conference with lawyers.

Rakoff said in an order last week that jurors knew before delivering their verdict against Palin earlier this month that he had ruled against her as a matter of law the previous day.


Rakoff said the jurors repeatedly assured his law clerk that pop-up news notifications on their phones about the judge’s ruling did not affect their deliberations.

After lawyers for Palin asked to make their requests in a 50-page written submission, the judge said each side could file papers of the same length after he issues a written opinion next week explaining why he decided he was tossing out the case regardless of the verdict returned by the jury.

Palin, a former Republican vice presidential candidate, claimed in her 2017 lawsuit that the newspaper libeled her the same year with an editorial about gun control.

The New York Times maintained that it quickly corrected any errors in the editorial and had made an “honest mistake” that was never meant to harm Palin.