A judge on Monday delayed Sarah Palin’s defamation trial against The New York Times by 10 days to February 3, after the 2008 Republican U.S. vice presidential candidate and former Alaska governor tested positive for the coronavirus.
The delay was announced by U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff in Manhattan at a hearing.
Rakoff first announced that Palin had tested positive earlier Monday morning. “She is, of course, unvaccinated,” Rakoff said then.
Prospective jurors had already started to assemble Monday morning in what was supposed to be the first day of the trial. Palin sued the paper in 2017 over an editorial that incorrectly linked the 2011 shooting of Rep. Gabby Giffords to a map circulated by Palin’s political action committee that showed certain electoral districts under crosshairs. The Times corrected the error and apologized for it, and a judge initially dismissed the case. But a federal appeals court revived it and, as a result, a trial will now take place.
The case is, at its heart, about the limits of First Amendment protections and the standard set in the landmark New York Times vs. Sullivan case. Specifically, the standard that a public figure must prove an outlet operated with “actual malice” when it published defamatory information. Palin has argued The Times did, and The Times has said it made an honest error.
CNN has reached out to an attorney for Palin for comment.
CNN’s Oliver Darcy contributed to this report.