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Palin appeals dismissal of defamation suit against the New York Times

[JURIST] Former Alaska Governor and 2008 Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin on Tuesday filed notice [text, PDF] of her intention to appeal the dismissal of her defamation suit against the New York Times [corporate website].

Palin filed suit in June, alleging that the paper defamed her [complaint, PDF] when it published an op-ed [text] that linked a political advertisement [text] circulated by Palin's PAC to the 2011 shooting of Arizona Representative Gabrielle Giffords. The ad was criticized for identifying vulnerable house districts, including Giffords', by superimposing rifle-style crosshairs over a map. Earlier claims that tied the Tucson shooter to Palin's ad were later proven to be false [Washington Post backgrounder]. Palin cited numerous instances [materials] in which the Times itself published pieces acknowledging the lack of a connection.

The Times moved to dismiss the suit in July, arguing that Palin failed to demonstrate "actual malice," as required by the Supreme Court's landmark 1964 case New York Times v. Sullivan [text], when a public figure claims he or she was defamed. The Southern District of New York [official website] agreed in August, finding [order, PDF] that "[n]egligence this may be; but defamation of a public figure it plainly is not," and dismissed the suit with prejudice.

Palin filed her notice of appeal Tuesday after her request for reconsideration of the August dismissal was denied [order, PDF] by the district court.

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