New York — A federal judge has ordered the writer of a New York Times editorial that mentioned Sarah Palin to testify concerning her defamation lawsuit.

Manhattan Judge Jed Rakoff set an Aug. 16 hearing. The newspaper says it will comply with the order.

The judge says the testimony is necessary to determine whether to grant the newspaper’s request to reject the lawsuit before the Times is required to turn over potential evidence to Palin’s lawyers.

Rakoff says he must decide if there are sufficient allegations of actual malice in the lawsuit.

Palin sued the Times in June, citing an editorial that month about gun control published after Louisiana Republican Rep. Steve Scalise (skuh-LEES’) was shot in Washington.

The Times published a series of corrections and apologized after readers complained about the editorial.

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