AZ Supreme Court orders hearing on Kari Lake’s signature verification issue

OPINION:  This article contains commentary which may reflect the author’s opinion

Leftist corporate media is so busy throwing a temper tantrum over Kari Lake’s book and her intense rise in popularity that they may have missed that Lake’s claims of election fraud are getting the go-ahead to be scrutinized and investigated.

“In what can only be described as a perfect meeting of like minds, Winning Team Publishing, the self-described “nation’s premier conservative publishing house” that was co-founded by Donald Trump Jr., will publish the book, which sells for $29.99. The book ships on June 27, according to the company’s website,”

Anti-Lake writers at AZ Central reported, adding more sour grapes:

“Other Winning Team titles include “Letters to Trump,” by the former president; “Our Journey Together” by the former president; and “Crimes Against America,” which is, surprise, not by the former president but by Fox News personality Jeanine Pirro. You know her — she backed false claims by the former president of election fraud and pushed them on the air.”

And here is why they may be having tantrums:

On Thursday, the Arizona Supreme Court ordered court proceedings to take place “forthwith” regarding Kari Lake’s election challenge on Maricopa County’s alleged violations of its signature verification practices in last year’s general election while granting one sanction but denying attorneys’ fees requested by the defendants, Just the News reported.

Lake, the Arizona GOP gubernatorial nominee, fell about 17,000 votes short in the 2022 election against then-Secretary of State Katie Hobbs. She is suing Hobbs, who is the current Democratic governor, in addition to current Secretary of State Adrian Fontes and Maricopa County election officials, and is requesting that the election results be invalidated or that she be declared the winner.

Lake’s case was reviewed by the Arizona Supreme Court in March, which remanded one of her seven counts to trial court and allowed sanctions against her to be considered. The remanded count was Lake’s claim that Maricopa County violated its signature verification policies in the 2022 election.

The signature verification allegation was remanded to the Maricopa County Superior Court, which was waiting on the high court to determine if she must pay sanctions to Hobbs and Fontes regarding her claim of 35,563 unaccounted early ballots being added to Maricopa County’s final tally.

On Thursday, the state Supreme Court granted the defendants’ request of $2,000 in sanctions against Lake’s counsel for “asserting ‘the undisputed fact that 35,563 unaccounted for ballots were added to the total number of ballots,’ and for repeating such false assertions in an additional filing in this proceeding,” according to the ruling.

The defendants were denied their requests for attorneys’ fees as sanctions. The court also ordered “that the trial court shall forthwith conduct such proceedings as appropriate to resolve” the allegations regarding signature verification.

Rasmussen Reports tweeted an update, saying, “Apparently upwards of 300,000 mail ballots in Maricopa County Arizona will now be checked for missing or mismatched signature issues in a race that has captured international attention and is divided by less than 15,000 ‘votes.’ Waiting to see the actual court order.”

Here is how the AP, like other corporate media, dressed up the story, trying to hide the action against Democrat Katie Hobbs:

The Arizona Supreme Court on Thursday sanctioned attorneys for Kari Lake, the 2022 Republican candidate for governor, ordering them to pay thousands of dollars for repeating “unequivocally false” election claims in court.

Chief Justice Robert Brutinel fined Lake’s attorneys $2,000 for making “false factual statements to the Court.”

Gov. Katie Hobbs and Secretary of State Adrian Fontes, both Democrats, had sought the sanctions after Lake repeatedly claimed that thousands of “unaccounted for ballots” had been added to Arizona’s ballot count in her loss to Hobbs by roughly 17,000 votes.

Even after the Supreme Court “concluded and expressly stated that the assertion was unsupported,” Brutinel wrote, Lake continued to repeat as “undisputed” the claim that 35,563 unaccounted ballots were added to the total count at a third-party processing facility.

“Sometimes campaigns and their attendant hyperbole spill over into legal challenges. But once a contest enters the judicial arena, rules of attorney ethics apply,” Brutinel wrote. “Although we must ensure that legal sanctions are never wielded against candidates or their attorneys for asserting their legal rights in good faith, we also must diligently enforce the rules of ethics on which public confidence in our judicial system depends and where the truth-seeking function of our adjudicative process is unjustifiably hindered.”

Brutinel denied Hobbs and Fontes’ request for attorney’s fees as sanctions.

Kurt Olsen, a lawyer for Lake, said in a statement, “We respectfully disagree with the Court’s holding but look forward to presenting our case at trial on the claim of illegal signatures and any other claim the trial court may consider.”

Lake, who built a national profile that leans heavily into promoting former President Donald Trump’s election lies, refused to concede her race, instead launching a legal battle and filing a 70-page lawsuit in December seeking a court order that declared her the winner.


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