Sarah Palin is attempting to move forward with a defamation case against the New York Times, but it’s not the legal system that’s getting in her way — it’s her immune system. Unfortunately, Palin is among the right-wingers who has publicly and loudly bought into anti-vax ideology, something even the judge in her case is calling her out for.
Palin is hardly the first person to juggle a positive test for COVID-19 with court dates or other scheduling demands, but her high profile as a politician and anti-vaxxer makes her case stand out. She was due in court Monday morning for the first day of her defamation case against the New York Times, which published an editorial piece in 2017 linking Palin’s pro-gun rhetoric to a mass shooting, the 2011 one in which former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords (D-AZ) and others were wounded, and six victims were killed.
NPR reports that an editor, wanting a “more sweeping” argument for gun control, added to the original piece, describing the link between a Palin ad, which used crosshair images over certain Congressional districts, and the shooting, as “clear” and describing the ad as incitement, actually misstating that the ad placed the crosshairs images over the legislators themselves.
Now with jury selection beginning in the defamation case, Palin has tested positive for COVID-19, leading the judge to comment on her unvaccinated status, and to likely delays in the case.
New York court reporter for Law360 Frank Runyeon shares from the court proceedings:
Judge says 3 options w/ Sarah Palin's positive COVID test:
1. Jury selection in Palin's absence w/ her consent.
2. Palin can Zoom in now and maybe return to testify.. If she turns to testing negative
3. Or Palin testifies by Zoom if she remains positive.
— Frank G. Runyeon (@frankrunyeon) January 24, 2022
Palin has indicated that she wants to be present for jury selection, pushing the case to next week at least. However, if she’s still COVID-19 positive by next week, Runyeon reports, the judge has indicated that there’s no telling how far out that will push the case.
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com