In a political and legal bombshell, Maricopa County has asked the Court to impose sanctions against Plaintiffs/candidates Kari Lake and Mark Finchem - as well as against their attorneys. The Motion is primarily based on the "repugnant" use of the courts to further undermine democracy and the frivolousness of them claiming that Arizona voters do not cast our votes on paper ballots.
|Mark Finchem and Kari Lake|
Lake and Finchem have asked the Court to prevent any machines from being used in the upcoming November election.
This is false. Arizona law requires paper ballots. Either Plaintiffs’ counsel failed to do the bare minimum factual investigation required by Rule 11 - speaking to their own clients who have each voted on paper ballots for nearly 20 years - or they knowingly alleged the fact anyway and pursued these frivolous claims anyway. Under either scenario, Plaintiffs and their counsel violated Rule 11.
Lake is the Republican nominee for Governor, and Finchem for Secretary of State. The County - Arizona's largest - is controlled by a Republican Board of Supervisors and a Republican County Attorney.
In fact, the Motion notes that Finchem and Lake themselves have long used PAPER BALLOTS to cast their votes in Arizona; thus, they *know* that their claims are false. The County claims that Lake and Finchem are doing this to "for the improper purpose of undermining confidence in elections and to further their political campaigns.
The Motion went on to blast the rest of Lake's and Finchem's case.
Moreover, the entire foundation of Plaintiffs’ case – the alleged need for court intervention to implement their preferred method of ballot tabulation because they fear possible, invisible, undetectable invaders into Arizona counties’ ballot tabulation equipment that will allegedly improperly manipulate the vote count – is based purely on speculation, conjecture, and unwarranted suspicion. Because no actual facts or evidence exist to support Plaintiffs’ assertion that tabulation equipment ever has or will incorrectly count ballots in Arizona, to support their claims Plaintiffs’ FAC instead sets forth demonstrably false allegations made without any basis or reasonable factual inquiry in violation of Rule 11. Fed. R. Civ. P. 11(b). Likewise, Plaintiffs’ counsel violated both Rule 11 and 28 U.S.C. § 1927 by unreasonably multiplying the proceedings with their untimely and unsupported MPI filed months after filing their initial Complaint and after the County filed its MTD.
In addition to Lake and Finchem, the Motion seeks sanctions against their attorneys, a team which includes the nationally-known Alan Dershowitz.
Maricopa County is represented by outside counsel Emily Craiger and attorneys in the Maricopa County Attorney's Office. Appointed County Attorney Rachel Mitchell is a Republican currently seeking election to a full term heading the office.
The Motion notes that they first raised the possibility of a Rule 11 sanctions motion in May, and that the parties met and conferred about it twice; The Plaintiffs refused to back down from the probably false assertions. In fact, the Motion claims Finchem and Lake "doubled down" when they then filed for a preliminary injunction.
A lengthy evidentiary hearing on the preliminary injunction was held on July 21, and the parties are awaiting a ruling from U.S. District Court Judge John Tuchi.
(This is a developing news story. Please check back for updates.)
This article was reported by AZ Law founder Paul Weich. Paul is currently running for a seat in Arizona's House of Representatives.
"AZ Law" includes articles, commentaries and updates about opinions from the Arizona Supreme Court, U.S. Supreme Court, as well as trial and appellate courts, etc. AZ Law is founded by Phoenix attorney Paul Weich, and joins Arizona's Politics on the internet.