Sarah Palin's lawsuit against The New York Times just got thrown out

Sarah Palin's defamation lawsuit against The New York Times was thrown out Tuesday by a federal judge.

The former Alaska governor had sued the newspaper this summer after its editorial board drew a link between an ad from her political action committee to the deadly shooting that left Rep. Gabby Giffords injured in 2011.

But as Manhattan federal judge Jed Rakoff wrote in an opinion dismissing the case, Palin did not have a "plausible factual basis" to claim that the paper had defamed her.

"Responsible journals will promptly correct their errors; others will not," Rakoff wrote.

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UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 03: Members of vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin's family (l-r), Track, vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin and infant Trig, Bristol, son-in-law to be, Levi Johnston, Willow, Piper, stand on stage following Mom's speech to the Republican National Convention at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota, Wednesday, September 3, 2008. (Photo By Douglas Graham/Roll Call/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NOVEMBER 16: Barbara Walters (R) stands with former U.S. Vice Presidential candidate and former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin (L), son Trigg Palin (2nd L) and husband Todd Palin for an interview on ABC News November 16, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Donna Svennevik/ABC via Getty Images)
Members of vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin's family (left to right), son Track, daughter Bristol, son-in-law to be Levi Johnston, daughter Willow, daughter Piper, husband Todd and infant Trig, stand on stage following her speech to the Republican National Convention at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota, Wednesday, September 3, 2008. (Photo by Harry E. Walker/MCT/MCT via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 04: Members of vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin's family (LtoR), Levi Johnston son-in-law to be, Willow, Piper, husband Todd and infant Trig, and Republican presidential nominee John McCain and vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin stand on stage following her speech to the Republican National Convention at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota, Wednesday, September 3, 2008. (Photo By Douglas Graham/Roll Call/Getty Images)
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - Bristol Palin talks to Josh Elliott about being a teenage mom, on GOOD MORNING AMERICA, 5/5/11, airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Ida Mae Astute/ABC via Getty Images)BRISTOL PALIN
LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 14: Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (L) and her daughter Willow Palin attend CNN Politics On Tap at Double Barrel Roadhouse at the Monte Carlo Resort and Casino on December 14, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. 25865_003 (Photo by Bryan Steffy/WireImage)
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE 40TH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL -- Pictured: (l-r) Sarah Palin and son Track Cj Palin walk the red carpet at the SNL 40th Anniversary Special at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York, NY on February 15, 2015 -- (Photo by: Jamie McCarthy/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
PHOENIX, AZ - OCTOBER 22: Politician and conservative activist Sarah Palin holds her son Trig Palin as she waves to supporters during a rally for the Tea Party Express national tour October 22, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona. The tour, part of an initiative to get conservatives elected to the House and Senate, will move across country and conclude on November 1, 2010 in Concord, New Hampshire the day before the contentious mid-term elections. (Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images)
Republican vice presidential nominee Gov. Sarah Palin is joined by her family, husband Todd Palin; daughter Piper, 7 (left); daughter Willow, 13 (right), and son Trig, 5 months, during her arrival at Orlando International Airport in Orlando, Florida, Friday, September 19, 2008. Palin will rally with supporters in The Villages, near Lady Lake, Fla., on Sunday. (Photo by Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/MCT via Getty Images)
Family members of Republican vice presidential candidate Alaska Governor Sarah Palin attend a campaign rally at Dena???INA Civic & Convention Center in Anchorage, Alaska on September 13, 2008. From left daughters Willow and Piper and son baby Trig . AFP PHOTO Robyn BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

He continued: "But if political journalism is to achieve its constitutionally endorsed role of challenging the powerful, legal redress by a public figure must be limited to those cases where the public figure has a plausible factual basis for complaining that the mistake was made maliciously, that is, with knowledge it was false or with reckless disregard of its falsity." 

The Times editorial, which it published in June after a shooting at a congressional baseball game practice, suggested that Jared Lee Loughner, the gunman in the 2011 Tucson shooting, was incited by the ad from Palin's PAC, which showed crosshairs over Giffords's congressional district and other Democratic districts. 

There is no evidence to suggest that Loughner saw the advertisement. The Times issued a correction the next day and amended the text of the editorial online. Palin filed her defamation suit two weeks later.

In dismissing the case, Rakoff cited a lack of proof that The Times had acted with "actual malice" — a crucial element of defamation — when it published the editorial. 

"What we have here is an editorial, written and rewritten rapidly in order to voice an opinion on an immediate event of importance, in which are included a few factual inaccuracies somewhat pertaining to Mrs. Palin that are very rapidly corrected," Rakoff wrote.

He added: "Negligence this may be; but defamation of a public figure it plainly is not."

Read the judge's opinion here.

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