Sarah Palin lost her lawsuit against the New York Times on Tuesday, but even before that, the judge in the case was going to dismiss it. The reason, CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin explained, is that she simply didn't meet the strict requirements necessary to hold newspapers libel.
"This was a very big deal — this case," Toobin explained. Part of the claim by the New York Times is that the post was an opinion piece. There was a fear that if Palin won the suit, it would mean that those giving their opinion could suddenly face libel accusations.
The New York Times made a mistake in their op-ed and corrected it, acknowledging it publicly. Palin claimed that they made the move intentionally and with the goal of trying to bring her down. This was long after she and John McCain had lost the 2008 presidential race.
"This libel suit was a classic example of how the law currently protects journalists, ever since a famous 1964 case in the Supreme Court, it's been difficult for public figures to win lawsuits because they have to show that the journalists act with reckless disregard of the truth," said Toobin. "That's the key phrase. Both the judge and the jury here agree that The New York Times did not show a reckless disregard for the truth."
He went on to explain that that may not always be the case, especially since the far-right has taken over the U.S. Supreme Court.
"Some conservative lawyers, two justices on the Supreme Court, Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch, have said the law is too protective of journalists. We need to change the law," Toobin continued. "So, as this case works through the appellate process, it may be an opportunity for some conservative judges to try to cut back on the protections, but at least as the law stands now, it's protective of the press, and both the judge and jury agreed that Sarah Palin's case did not have merit."
Here are some other legal opinions and the Toobin take below:
So glad for @nytimes and everyone who fought for Freedom of the Press, from David McCraw and David Axelrod on. Thank you.— Neal Katyal (@Neal Katyal) 1644954724
Another losing lawsuit against "Fake News Press" and "woke cancel culture."\nTime to move on to the next one.https://www.cnn.com/2022/02/15/media/sarah-palin-new-york-times-verdict/index.html\u00a0\u2026— Richard W. Painter (@Richard W. Painter) 1644955862
I'm sure the jury appreciates having wasted its time! NYT continues it's win streak in defamation cases stretching some 50 years.https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/15/business/media/sarah-palin-new-york-times-jurors.html?smid=tw-share\u00a0\u2026— Shanlon Wu (@Shanlon Wu) 1644954627
See the video below:
Toobin Palin www.youtube.com