A federal judge on Thursday ordered the writer of an editorial in The New York Times that mentioned former vice presidential nominee and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to testify next week so he can decide whether her defamation lawsuit can proceed.
U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff set an Aug. 16 hearing. New York Times spokeswoman Danielle Rhoades Ha said in an emailed statement that the newspaper will comply with the order. Lawyers for Palin did not immediately comment.
The judge said the testimony was necessary to determine whether to grant the Times’ request to reject the lawsuit before the newspaper is required to turn over documents such as email records that could be used by Palin’s lawyers to develop evidence.
The judge called it a “close question” whether there were sufficient allegations of actual malice in the lawsuit to let it proceed.
Palin, a Republican, sued the Times for unspecified