HomeNewsJudge Slaps Down Demand to Sanction Kari Lake Following Election Lawsuits

    Judge Slaps Down Demand to Sanction Kari Lake Following Election Lawsuits

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    Former Arizona Republican gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake received more positive news from a state judge regarding her 2022 election lawsuits on Friday.

    Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson denied a request to sanction Lake for her lawsuits following her loss to now-Democratic Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs. Hobbs and Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes had filed a motion requesting sanctions.

    After a three-day trial, Thompson ruled on Monday that Lake’s legal team did not provide sufficient evidence to support their claim that Maricopa County did not comply with Arizona law during the signature review procedure for mail-in ballots for the general election.

    Thompson noted in his ruling that Lake’s legal team discovered 274,000 signatures that were compared in less than two seconds and 70,000 signatures that were reviewed in less than one second.

    However, he also noted that Arizona law does not specify a time limit for reviewing signatures, leaving Maricopa County recorder Stephen Richer to determine what is and is not an appropriate review period.

    Maricopa County argued in a petition for sanctions that Lake “brought frivolous arguments and claims before the court.” This conduct merits significant sanctions.” Thomas Liddy referenced Lake’s attorney’s trial statement that “this election was rigged.”

    “Lake and her counsel then failed to introduce any evidence during the three-day trial to support this wrongful statement. Wrongfully and publicly asserting that the election was ‘rigged’ is heinous and profoundly harmful,” Liddy argued in a motion.

    However, in his ruling regarding the sanction request, Thompson first explained the state law standard for imposing them. He observed that a judge has the authority to sanction an attorney “who brings or defends a claim without substantial justification or primarily for delay or harassment.”

    “The statute defines ‘without substantial justification’ as ‘groundless’ and ‘not made in good faith.’ A.R.S. § 12-349(F). A claim is ‘groundless’ if its proponent can present no rational argument based on the evidence or law to support it,” he wrote, before going on to summarize Maricopa County’s view of Lake’s argument: “She proceeded to trial on a claim she knew lacked factual merit based on her own witness’s statements.”

    Thompson wrote, “This view erroneously extends beyond the trial to the ultimate resolution of the merits and precludes the presentation of evidence to prove a contested claim.”

    In fact, the purpose of the trial, according to the judge, was to give the plaintiff the opportunity to demonstrate that Maricopa County officials, rather than attempting to correct mismatched ballots, systematically moved them through for tabulation without following the required procedures.

    Consequently, although Thompson ultimately ruled that Lake was unable to prove her claim with “clear and compelling” evidence to the court’s satisfaction, this “does not equate to bringing a claim ‘without substantial justification’ as ‘groundless’ and ‘not made in good faith.

    “Even if her argument did not prevail, Lake, through her witness, presented facts consistent with and in support of her legal argument,” he wrote.

    “Opposing litigants in a heated dispute will naturally view the same evidence differently,” he noted further.

    More on this story via Conservative Brief:

    “The inferences one draws will be anathema to the other, and they may question each other’s good faith motivated simply by the conviction of their own cause and incomprehension at the conclusions of the other,” Thompson’s ruling continued. CONTINUE READING…

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