After a four-year wait, U.S. District Court Judge Jed Rakoff has announced Tuesday that Sarah Palin's libel case against The New York Times will move forward, according to The Hollywood Reporter, with jury selection scheduled to begin Jan. 24.
Palin has alleged the Times' 2017 editorial linking one of her political action committee ads to the 2011 mass shooting that wounded then-Rep. Gabby Giffords, D-Ariz., "violated the law and its own policies" in suggestion the ad incited the attack by shooter Jared Lee Loughner.
Palin's legal team will have to prove actual malice by editorial author James Bennet, who wrote: "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."
Hours after the editorial ran, the Times revised the editorial and published a series of corrections, adding "no connection to the shooting was ever established."
Rakoff had initially dismissed Palin's lawsuit for a "cognizable lack of actual malice," according to THR, but the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against Rakoff and the complaint was revived.
Rakoff then ruled, THR reported, "the evidence shows Bennet came up with an angle for the editorial, ignored the articles brought to his attention that were inconsistent with his angle… and ultimately made the point he set out to make in reckless disregard of the truth."
Rakoff has set Jan. 24 for jury selection in a federal courthouse in Manhattan, blocking off an estimated two weeks for the trial, according to the report.
Palin is represented by Shane Vogt at Bajo Cuva Cohen Turkel, while The New York Times' case is in the hands of David A. Schulz at Ballard Spahr.
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