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Palin Libel Case Is One of Several Contesting 'Actual Malice' Rule

A jury rejected former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's libel suit against the New York Times after a judge had said he would dismiss the case. Still, Palin has signaled she could go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court with her challenge to the 1964 "actual malice" legal standard for public figures to prove defamation, Reuters reports. The case is just one of several current ones that raise similar issues The Supreme Court is considering whether to take up a challenge to the actual malice test in a Florida church's lawsuit claiming it was falsely designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center legal advocacy organization. Coral Ridge Ministries is backed by briefs from religious and conservative groups who argue that the high bar to prove defamation claims has given media outlets a license to print lies.


Devin Nunes, a Republican former U.S. congressman from California, is pursuing a lawsuit claiming journalist Ryan Lizza defamed him in an Esquire article that said Nunes' family employed immigrants illegally on an Iowa dairy farm. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit found that Lizza may have shown actual malice by posting a Twitter link to the article months after it was published, and after Nunes sued. Dominion Voting Systems is seeking $1.6 billion in a defamation lawsuit accusing Fox News of amplifying false conspiracy theories about its role in the 2020 presidential election. Right-wing group Project Veritas sued the New York Times for calling videos the group produced about alleged voter fraud "deceptive." A New York appeals court 0 the newspaper could publish excerpts of Project Veritas' internal memos while the Times' appeal of a judge's order barring their publication is pending.

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