Arizona Supreme Court rejects Kari Lake’s appeal in his election lawsuit
The Arizona Supreme Court on Wednesday denied a request by Kari Lake to hear her lawsuit challenging her loss last year in the governor’s race. The lawsuit was based on what the court said was a false claim by Ms Lake, a Republican, that more than 35,000 uncounted ballots were accepted.
In a five-page order written by Chief Justice Robert Brutinel, the court determined that a large majority of Ms Lake’s legal claims, which had previously been dismissed by lower courts, were unfounded.
“The Court of Appeals fairly resolved these issues,” Chief Justice Brutinel wrote, adding that “the petitioner’s challenges on these grounds are insufficient to support the relief sought under Arizona law or federal law”.
But judges on Wednesday ordered a trial court in Arizona’s most populous county, Maricopa, to conduct an additional review of that county’s procedures to verify signatures on mail-in ballots, keeping part of his trial alive.
The decision caused another setback for Ms. Lake, a former TV news anchor whose strident campaign denial helped her win the endorsement of former President Donald J. Trump.
Ms Lake tried to put a positive spin on the decision, arguing Twitter that referring the signature verification aspect of his case to the trial court was vindicated.
“They built a house of cards in Maricopa County,” Ms. Lake wrote. “I’m not just going to knock him down. I’ll burn it to the ground.
Ms Lake had argued that “a significant number” of ballots with unmatched signatures had been accepted in Maricopa County. The Supreme Court endorsed the appeals court’s decision on the matter, effectively saying it should show the numbers that prove the election result “likely would have been different, not just a statement without an attached uncertainty”.
She fell to Katie Hobbs, a Democrat who was Arizona’s secretary of state, by just over 17,000 votes out of an estimated 2.6 million ballots cast in the battleground state – less by one percentage point.
Representatives for Ms. Hobbs, a defendant in Ms. Lake’s lawsuit, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday.
Ms. Lake repeatedly pointed to technical issues on Election Day that disrupted vote counting in Maricopa County, fueling conspiracy theories and baseless claims.
Stephen Richer, the Maricopa County recorder and a Republican who helps oversee the election, did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday, but told The Arizona Republic he respects the Supreme Court and that the additional judicial review would not change the outcome.
“We will now go on and win, again, for about the 30th time,” he said.
Ms Lake’s chief strategist, Colton Duncan, promised Ms Lake’s lawyers would reveal more fraud and corruption.
“Buckle up, it’s about fun,” he said.