On Tuesday, Arizona Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake filed an appeal against a Maricopa County judge’s ruling against her lawsuit challenging the midterm election results.
Lake filed a notice of appeal with Arizona Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson, who first ruled against her case, to challenge the dismissal. A court filing states that Lake will also seek a direct review by the Arizona Supreme Court.
Thompson first ruled against Lake’s election case on Dec. 24, confirming the election of Katie Hobbs as Arizona governor-elect. Thompson found that there wasn’t enough evidence of misconduct by Maricopa County to overturn election results in the county.
His ruling came days after Lake filed her lawsuit and after Thompson allowed two of 10 election claims to go to a short two-day trial.
According to election data, Lake lost to Hobbs by about 17,000 votes. Lake’s lawsuit was filed against Hobbs in her capacity as the current secretary of state, Maricopa County election officials and others several weeks after the midterms.
“I am standing up for the people of this state, the people who were done wrong on Election Day, and the millions of people who live outside of Maricopa County, whose vote was watered down by this bogus election in Maricopa County,” Lake told Steve Bannon’s “War Room” podcast.
This comes just one day after Thompson denied a request from Hobbs and Maricopa County to sanction Lake and her legal team over her lawsuit challenging the results of the 2022 general election.
Thompson ruled that, while Lake didn’t meet the burden of providing evidence of her claims, her lawsuit didn’t meet the standard for imposing sanctions. Lake was still ordered to reimburse Hobbs $33,040 for some expenses.
“There is no doubt that each side believes firmly in its position with great conviction,” the judge wrote in the ruling. “The fact that Plaintiff failed to meet the burden of clear and convincing evidence required … does not equate to a finding that her claims were, or were not, groundless and presented in bad faith. Any legal decision must be based on the law and facts rather than subjective beliefs or partisan opinions, no matter how strongly held.”
Maricopa County officials filed the motion against Lake and her legal team on Dec. 26, and Hobbs later joined the motion in her capacity as secretary of state.
“Enough really is enough. It is past time to end unfounded attacks on elections and unwarranted accusations against elections officials,” Maricopa County Deputy Attorney Thomas P. Liddy wrote on Dec. 26 in a 15-page memo asking Thompson for the sanctions and attorneys fees. “This matter was brought without any legitimate justification, let alone a substantial one.”
Courts “should not be used to harass political opponents and sow completely unfounded doubts about the integrity of elections,” the memo also stated.
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