In her defamation trial, Sarah Palin might want to challenge her judge for cause

Sarah Palin's defamation lawsuit against the New York Times was finally set to go to trial yesterday.  However, the trial's start was delayed when Palin tested positive for COVID.  Nowadays, that's unexceptional.  It's what happened after that's the problem.  The judge's sneering response when he heard about Palin's positive test indicates that he is incapable of being impartial and needs to be challenged for cause.

Palin's lawsuit had its origin in a smear the Times made against Palin in 2011.  When a delusional man tried to murder Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and managed to kill a lot of other people in the process, the New York Times claimed the culprit was a Palin PAC flyer that showed, not Giffords, but her district, as well as several other districts across America, with a camera sight imposed over them.  The PAC's point was that the politicians in these districts were vulnerable to a GOP takeover:

There wasn't a scintilla of evidence that the murderer had seen or was influenced by the flyer.  Moreover, it quickly became clear that he was both insane and had a longstanding, obsessive hatred for Giffords.  However, Palin didn't sue over this smear.

In 2017, however, when a Bernie Bro attempted to kill the entire Republican House membership and ended up almost murdering Congressman Steve Scalise, the New York Times decided that the fault lay with Palin.  Why?  Because, wrote the Times, Bernie had never incited anyone to kill Republicans the way that Palin's map had incited the attack on Giffords.  Again, this was a complete and total lie.

The Times published an itty-bitty little correction, but Palin was not going to let the Times get away with an endless cycle of libeling loudly followed by apologizing softly.  This time around, Palin sued.

After many delays, in large part because of COVID, the trial was finally set to go forward yesterday.  The judge before whom the case is to be tried is U.S. district judge Jed Rakoff, a Bill Clinton appointee.

Right before jury selection was to begin, Palin took an at-home COVID test, which came up positive.  She retested two more times, and the result was the same.

Image: Judge Jed S. Rakoff. YouTube screen grab.

Judge Rakoff announced in his Manhattan courtroom that the trial would be continued to February 3 because, after multiple tests, he was going to assume that she did, indeed, have COVID.  "Since she has tested positive three times, I'm going to assume she's positive."

That's all well and good.  The problem is what Rakoff said in addition to the announcement that the plaintiff in the case had COVID: "She is, of course, unvaccinated."

And there you have your bias — oozing, condescending, sneering, and deeply ill-informed bias.

What Rakoff said is ill-informed because there's no "of course" about it.  If Rakoff consumed anything other than the leftist media (I'm pretty comfortable assuming he doesn't), he would have known that the CDC has explicitly conceded that immunity is no longer a possibility with the vaccine.  You're going to get sick whether or not you had the jab.  Fundamentally, there is no vaccine; there's only a possible therapeutic (unlike the actual therapeutics that the Fauci-led American government has made impossible to obtain).

Moreover, there's an increasing amount of evidence showing that people who have had the "vaccine" are more, not less, vulnerable to the omicron variant.  (See, e.g., news from Scotland and Israel.)  Had Palin had the jab, it might actually have increased her likelihood of becoming ill.

But there's something more important here than Rakoff's ignorance.  His sneering statement about Palin's vaccine status was completely gratuitous.  Rakoff said that to expose her in a negative fashion in front of the world — and in front of the potential jury pool.  It was a completely outrageous thing for a judge to say and justifies a motion demanding that he recuse himself from the trial.

In sum, in one sentence, Rakoff revealed himself to be ill-informed and deeply biased against Sarah Palin.  Unless all the other choices for a trial judge in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York are equally bad (and they probably are), Rakoff has no business presiding over Palin's case. 

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