Monday, November 28, 2022

Secretary of State and Union Group File Separate Suits To Force Cochise County To Certify Election

 (This is a developing story. Please check back later for updates.)

"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. 

AZ Law airs on non-profit Sun Sounds of Arizona, a statewide reading service that provides audio access to printed material for people who cannot hold or read print material due to a disability. If you know someone who could benefit from this 24/7 service, please let them know about member-supported Sun Sounds. And, YOU can donate or listen here. 

Previous episodes of AZ Law can be streamed or downloaded here, or wherever you get your podcasts.

OPEN THE FLOODGATES: Three New Elections Lawsuits Filed This Morning

UPDATE, 9:35pm: Hearings have been set for later this week in two of the three suits filed today. In the Kari Lake public records lawsuit (details, #1 below), Judge Blaney has set a Thursday morning (12/1, 9am) return hearing on the Order to Show Cause.

In the LD22 write-in Senate Election Contest, Judge Joseph Mikitish has set a Friday afternoon (12/2, 4pm) hearing on the OSC.


UPDATE, 12:45: Here is Judge Brad Astrowsky's Order DENYING Plaintiff's request for a TRO to stop Maricopa County's official canvass. Plaintiff Golec used the Election Contest statutes as her basis for relief. Judge Astrowsky ruled that the window for such an action opens AFTER completion of the canvass (for five days).

ORIGINAL ARTICLE, 11/28, 12:30pm: OPEN THE FLOODGATES: Three New Elections Lawsuits Filed This Morning

Not one, not two, but three separate lawsuits were filed this morning concerning Maricopa County's November 8 elections. Let's do a quick recap:

1) The Kari Lake public records lawsuit that has been previously reported as filed was officially filed this morning. It seeks answers from Maricopa County elections officials about November 8 issues. Tim LaSota is Lake's campaign's attorney, and the case has been assigned to Judge Scott Blaney.

2) Former candidate Gail Golec filed for an emergency TRO to stop today's official canvass of Maricopa County's election results. The motion was DENIED as being premature - that it needed to happen AFTER the canvass. The denial was finalized so that Ms. Golec could appeal. Judge Brad Astrowsky was the judge assigned to the matter, and Ms. Golec filed without an attorney.

3) Attorney Tim LaSota has filed an Election Contest against the results for the state Senate race in Legislative District 22. This was the race where Diego Espinoza withdrew from the race after the ballots had been printed, and several write-in candidates were running to fill the seat. The new lawsuit alleges that some of Eva Diaz's write-in votes should not have been counted because some people may have both written her name in and bubbled Espinoza's name. Diaz received 6,629 write-in votes, and the next closest candidate received 3,722. The case has been assigned to Judge Joseph Mikitish.

BONUS: There will be a 2pm hearing on the Election Contest filed by the Republican National Committee and AG candidate Abe Hamadeh.

"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. 

AZ Law airs on non-profit Sun Sounds of Arizona, a statewide reading service that provides audio access to printed material for people who cannot hold or read print material due to a disability. If you know someone who could benefit from this 24/7 service, please let them know about member-supported Sun Sounds. And, YOU can donate or listen here. 

Previous episodes of AZ Law can be streamed or downloaded here, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Sunday, November 27, 2022

READ: Maricopa County's Report On Election Day Issues Shows All But 13 Printer>Tabulator>Leaving Vote Center Ballots Have Been Counted

Maricopa County today released an election report to the Attorney General's Office and in advance of tomorrow's Board of Supervisors meeting to canvass the results. 

In it, they explain in detail how they handled the ballots of people who left one Vote Center after checking in to cast their ballot at a second Vote Center. Of those 206 voters, all but 13 have had their votes included in the final results. Two of those refused to put their 2nd ballot in a provisional envelope, and the County could not verify that there had been a printer or spoiled ballot issue prompting the other 11 to get a new ballot at a different location.

(On a personal note, the report seems to confirm that I was able to rescue a voter's early ballot. The facts are convoluted, but she left my Vote Center before the Poll Worker helping her could get her checked-out (aka un-checked in).  Today's report shows there was no variance at our location, indicating the County likely reviewed and confirmed our documentation. Her vote counted!)

"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. 

AZ Law airs on non-profit Sun Sounds of Arizona, a statewide reading service that provides audio access to printed material for people who cannot hold or read print material due to a disability. If you know someone who could benefit from this 24/7 service, please let them know about member-supported Sun Sounds. And, YOU can donate or listen here. 

Previous episodes of AZ Law can be streamed or downloaded here, or wherever you get your podcasts.

ELECTION CONTEST UPDATE: Complementary/Complimentary Motions To Dismiss Hamadeh Election Contest (READ: Motions)

UPDATE, 11/28 at 10:40am: Judge Frank Moskowitz has recused himself from the Election Contest, and a 4th judge has been assigned. Judge Randall Warner will take over the case and conduct the initial hearing as scheduled at 2pm today. (Minute Entries to follow.)


The Court may have been closed since Wednesday evening for the holiday, but several Arizona election attorneys could not take much time to eat or shop. With GOP AG candidate Abe Hamadeh filing an early Election Contest lawsuit on Tuesday and the court setting a hearing for tomorrow afternoon, the outgoing Secretary of State (/incoming Governor) and the apparent incoming Attorney General rushed to get Motions to Dismiss on file.

Counsel for Katie Hobbs and Kris Mayes each filed complementary Motions. While they covered similar arguments as to why the Complaint was deficient and should be thrown out, taken together they made an even stronger case for dismissal. And in social media, the defendants' attorneys were complimentary, too.(Link on request.)

Both Motions begin their analysis on two basic points that were obvious from the moment Hamadeh and the Republican National Committee filed the suit - the election contest statutes clearly state that the window to file the action is within the five days after the state's certification of the results, and the action must be brought "by a qualified elector". As Hobbs' Motion puts it:

"There is no question that an election contest cannot be brought until after the statewide canvass and after the challenged candidate has been declared elected, neither of which has occurred. The Court can dismiss this action for this obvious reason – which should have been obvious to experienced election law attorneys like Plaintiffs’ – alone."

The Mayes Motion adds the point that the Attorney General contest is so close (510 votes) that there will even be an automatic recount before a judge could declare Hamadeh to be the winner. It goes on to blast the inclusion of the RNC "as a qualified elector".

Both Motions blast all five substantive counts raised by Hamadeh/RNC, citing the statutes, case law and noting that the various types of relief requested by plaintiffs is beyond what the court is allowed to grant. (In fact, Mayes' Motion states in a footnote that less than a year ago in the same court "Mr. Hamadeh’s counsel know this. Mr. LaSota recently argued in another case that “the Court’s only power pursuant to [an election contest] is to issue a ruling ‘confirming or annulling and setting aside the election.’”)

Chandler attorney Tom Ryan has been involved in election cases for many years, and he is impressed by both Motions to Dismiss:

"The Motion to Dismiss filed on behalf of Kris Mayes to respond to the purported Election Contest filed on behalf of Abe Hamadeh is a master class in Arizona Election Law. Notably, there is only one footnote: to advise Hamadeh's counsel he just took a contrary position in the Arizona Supreme Court. Ouch. Dan Barr, Paul Eckstein and the legal team at Perkins Coie have this one nailed down tight....
The walk away line in Hobbs' excellent response: "Plaintiffs’ requested relief – declaring Hamadeh the winner of that race – is extreme, unfounded, and unavailable." I would add: it's  conduct that should get the attorneys sanctioned."

Additionally, the most intriguing allegations in the Complaint are that 419 voters did not have their votes counted because of issues arising from the printer/tabulator issues at some Maricopa County Vote Centers on Election Day. The County today released an election report to the Attorney General's Office and in advance of tomorrow's Board of Supervisors meeting to canvass the results. In it, they explain in detail how they handled the ballots of people who left one Vote Center after checking in to cast their ballot at a second Vote Center. Of those 206 voters, all but 13 have had their votes included in the final results. Two of those refused to put their 2nd ballot in a provisional envelope, and the County could not verify that there had been a printer or spoiled ballot issue prompting the other 11 to get a new ballot at a different location.

The initial hearing in this election contest will take place Monday afternoon in front of Judge Frank Moskowitz. (There was some uncertainty about the hearing because Moskowitz is the 3rd judge to be assigned, and the holiday delayed the public posting of some Minute Entries.)

"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. 

AZ Law airs on non-profit Sun Sounds of Arizona, a statewide reading service that provides audio access to printed material for people who cannot hold or read print material due to a disability. If you know someone who could benefit from this 24/7 service, please let them know about member-supported Sun Sounds. And, YOU can donate or listen here. 

Previous episodes of AZ Law can be streamed or downloaded here, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

BREAKING: Maricopa County Can Refuse To Grant Gateway Pundit's Jordan Conradson Press Pass, Judge Rules (READ Order)

The Gateway Pundit's Jordan Conradson does not have a right to a Maricopa County press pass, a U.S. District Court Judge ruled this afternoon. The provocative, conservative website filed the action two weeks ago and asked for an injunction allowing him to attend post-election news conferences in secured, limited access areas.

Jordan Conradson (Republic/Meg Potter)

In a 17-page opinion, Judge John Tuchi evaluated the several arguments made by plaintiffs at last week's evidentiary hearing, and decided that the County had adopted a press pass system and criteria appropriately broad and based upon that used by Congress and other public bodies.

TGP/Conradson had claimed that the criteria was unconstitutionally vague, that he had not had due process and that he was discriminated against because of his viewpoints. Judge Tuchi determined they were unlikely to prevail on any of those, while gently chiding Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer for one of his retweets which could have been interpreted as disagreeing with Conradson's beliefs. ("Such behavior may be beneath the dignity of the office, but Plaintiffs have not substantiated their claim that keeping them out was the animating reason behind the restrictions.")

Conradson came to widespread attention last year because of the access he had to the State Senate's "audit" of the 2020 election.

"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. 

AZ Law airs on non-profit Sun Sounds of Arizona, a statewide reading service that provides audio access to printed material for people who cannot hold or read print material due to a disability. If you know someone who could benefit from this 24/7 service, please let them know about member-supported Sun Sounds. And, YOU can donate or listen here. 

Previous episodes of AZ Law can be streamed or downloaded here, or wherever you get your podcasts.

ELECTION CONTEST UPDATE: One Judge Recuses Herself From Hamadeh Election Contest; Monday Hearing May Or May Not Be On

UPDATE, 5:15pm: As of this evening, it is unclear which Judge has been assigned to this case and whether the Monday hearing will be rescheduled. The docket initially showed that Judge Connie Contes was assigned. Contes has retired and is not taking new cases. The docket this morning showed that it had been reassigned to Judge Frank Moskowitz. 

However, tonight, Arizona's Law received two Minute Entries from the Court, entered earlier today. The first moves it from Contes to Judge Danielle Viola.

The second shifts it back for assignment, stating that Judge Viola "has determined a conflict of interest exists. Therefore, the Court recuses itself." 

It is possible that the reassignment took place and sent it to Judge Moskowitz and that he set the 2pm hearing for Monday. Two additional Minute Entries were issued, but will not be "filed" until Monday morning, due to the two-day Thanksgiving holiday.

(There are two different systems for Maricopa County Superior Court judges to issue Minute Entries. One system is publicly available the following morning. However, the other system does not automatically post the Minute Entries to the public website.)

ORIGINAL ARTICLE, 11/22ELECTION CONTEST: Initial Hearing Set For Monday In RNC/Hamadeh "Election Contest" Lawsuit (READ Complaint)

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Frank Moskowitz has set 2:00pm on Monday (Nov. 28) for an initial hearing on the "Election Contest" lawsuit filed by the Republican National Committee ("RNC") and GOP AG nominee Abe Hamadeh.

RNC/Hamadeh allege that 419 Election Day ballots have not been counted by Maricopa County as a result of problems arising from the printer/tabulator issues. The Complaint alleges that that satisfies the "misconduct" requirement in the Election Contest statute.

"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. 

AZ Law airs on non-profit Sun Sounds of Arizona, a statewide reading service that provides audio access to printed material for people who cannot hold or read print material due to a disability. If you know someone who could benefit from this 24/7 service, please let them know about member-supported Sun Sounds. And, YOU can donate or listen here. 

Previous episodes of AZ Law can be streamed or downloaded here, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Sunday, November 20, 2022

NEW: GOP Attorneys May Face Ethics Complaints For Recording/Releasing Attorney For Maricopa County, Following Through On Perceived Threat

Attorneys for the Republican Governors Association and the Arizona GOP may have committed multiple ethics violations this week when they recorded an attorney-to-attorney conversation with a Maricopa County attorney about ballot counting, made a perceived threat and then followed through on it by releasing video of the conversation.

Ben Mehr speaking with Tom Liddy, from video

The Maricopa County Attorney's Office had "no additional comment" when asked by Arizona's Law on Saturday whether it (or any of its attorneys) would be filing complaints with the State Bar of Arizona against Tim LaSota or other disciplinary agencies against RGA staff attorney Benjamin Mehr.

Liddy spoke with Washington Post reporter Yvonne Wingett Sanchez about the conversation and perceived threat. Liddy and MCAO also noted that the snippet of the 12 minute conversation was taken out of context. (The leaked portion of the conversation is embedded in the WaPo article.)

One day after Steve Bannon and a Kari Lake Senior Advisor promised fellow election deniers that the defeated Arizona gubernatorial candidate would be "more aggressive" than simply pursuing legal action (because "the courts are not on our side"), a Lake twitter account released video (taken or posted by former Trump attorney Jenna Ellis) of an attorney's conversation with Tom Liddy, the Chief of the Civil Division of the Maricopa County Attorney's Office.

The conversation had taken place on Monday, with Mehr asking several questions about the Election Day problems. Mehr told Liddy he was "worried" about what they would have to tell supporters if Liddy was not "giving us good information."

Liddy perceived that as a threat and used some choice expletives in response: “If I don’t get these answers to you quickly, you’re not going to be able to tell the crazy people that I’ve been helpful. I don’t give a fuck.”

The release of the snippet of the recording the day after Lake's day of meetings at Trump's Mar a Lago club seemed to confirm both Mehr's comment that he would be reporting to supporters and Caroline Wren's promise to be more aggressive.

The recording clearly shows that people on both sides of Mehr were recording the conversation with their phones, making it highly likely that Mehr was aware of and approved of them. Arizona election attorney LaSota confirmed to the Washington Post that he was also present for the call and heard both sides of the conversation.

Arizona attorneys are bound by ethical rules adopted by the Arizona Supreme Court, and other attorneys are similarly bound. While Arizona permits recording of conversations without consent of the person being recorded, attorneys are prohibited from recording conversations with other counsel. (We are also prohibited from secretly recording most other conversation with others.)

Tim LaSota
The prohibition is derived from Ethical Rule 8.4, which says it is "professional misconduct to engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation." In 1995, the State Bar issued an opinion making it clear that recording another attorney involves elements of "deceit and misrepresentation."

The content of the perceived threat to Liddy, followed by the release of the recording - an apparent confirmation that Liddy correctly perceived a threat - may also be grounds for an ethical complaint. As an attorney standing next to Mehr during the conversation, LaSota's (in)actions could also be questioned.

The MCAO - run by a Republican and defending Republican Supervisors and officials -  forcefully defended the 2020 election administration against lawsuits, legislative/Ninja "audits" and various threats. The leaked conversation shows that these confrontations will continue as we head towards 2022 lawsuits, challenges and various threats.

In fact, the MCAO currently has a Rule 11 Motion for Sanctions pending against a different set of attorneys for Kari Lake and Mark Finchem. Their lawsuit sought to prohibit machines from the 2022 election and force ballots to only be counted by hand. The sanctions motion claims that Lake's/Finchem's attorneys falsely stated that Maricopa County does not already use paper ballots. The case was dismissed and has been appealed to the 9th Circuit. (Rule 11 Motions often overlap with complaints of unethical behavior.)

Ethics complaints were filed with the Arizona State Bar against many of the attorneys who filed post-2020 election actions (including LaSota), alleging that the lawsuits were knowingly not filed in good faith. It is unclear what stage those complaints are at.

On Saturday, Arizona's Law also asked Mehr and LaSota questions and to present their perspectives on the situation. Updates to this article will be published as warranted.

"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. 

AZ Law airs on non-profit Sun Sounds of Arizona, a statewide reading service that provides audio access to printed material for people who cannot hold or read print material due to a disability. If you know someone who could benefit from this 24/7 service, please let them know about member-supported Sun Sounds. And, YOU can donate or listen here. 

Previous episodes of AZ Law can be streamed or downloaded here, or wherever you get your podcasts.


Saturday, November 19, 2022

BREAKING: Outgoing AZAG Brnovich Asks Maricopa County To Address Election Day Issues (READ Letter)

Outgoing Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich's Office emailed a 3 1/2 page letter to the Maricopa County Attorney's Office asking for details on the well-publicized Election Day snafus and how the County complied with state election laws.

Citing "hundreds of complaints" and claiming they "go beyond pure speculation", Asst AG Jennifer Wright asks for a detailed response before Maricopa County canvasses the results on or before November 28.

Most of the items have already been discussed by the County since Election Day, and have been the subject of discussions between MCAO's Tom Liddy and attorneys for the Republican parties and candidates. And, it is widely expected that Republicans will be filing their own legal actions before and/or after the canvass.

A few weeks ago, Brnovich called the allegations against the conduct of the 2020 elections "horseshit". He has not expressed a view of the seriousness of the complaints about this election, but this letter indicates that he wants to be involved.

This article was reported by AZ Law founder Paul Weich. Paul was 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. 

AZ Law airs on non-profit Sun Sounds of Arizona, a statewide reading service that provides audio access to printed material for people who cannot hold or read print material due to a disability. If you know someone who could benefit from this 24/7 service, please let them know about member-supported Sun Sounds. And, YOU can donate or listen here. 

Previous episodes of AZ Law can be streamed or downloaded here, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Friday, November 18, 2022

BREAKING - WHAT COULD GO WRONG? Caroline Wren Raised $3M For Jan. 6; Today, She's Sr. Advisor For Kari Lake's Post-Election Plans

Kari Lake's trip to Mar a Lago yesterday may have been for more than just schmoozing. Caroline Wren was a major fundraiser for the Jan. 6 rally, and has now popped up as the gubernatorial candidate's "Senior Advisor", and is spreading inaccurate information about last week's election.

Wren was intimately involved with the planning for the Trump campaign's January 6 events in 2021, and boasted that she had raised $3M to support the rally portion. Her appearance on Steve Bannon's show yesterday as Lake's Senior Advisor raises all kinds of questions about how the former newscaster is going to contest the November 8 results. (Lake is currently more than 16,000 votes behind Democratic nominee Katie Hobbs, and is a few thousand votes short of receiving an automatic recount.)

Wren's involvement came to light as the nationally-known Rasmussen organization repeated some of her comments as facts (without attribution). Upon questioning by Arizona's Law, they linked the Wren video as their "source".

Wren stated that she had inside information that "48% of voting centers encountered tabulation problems on Election Day, when voters voted for Kari Lake 3-to-1", after "0% of the voting centers encountered tabulation problems" during the Early Voting period that began October 12.

This is an inaccurate claim in several different ways. First, 48% is a gross overstatement of the Maricopa County E-Day problem. 70 of the 223 Vote Centers is far less than 48%. Each center had two tabulators, so even if only one was having problems (which does not make sense if the problem was the printers' settings), that Vote Center was still able to tabulate ballots.

A bigger misleading statement was her comparison to the Early Voting period. In person ballots printed at those 12 27-day sites or the 43 12-day sites were NOT tabulated at the Vote Centers. As any person who voted then - and they were Democrats and Republicans - will tell you, those ballots were placed in signed envelopes and sent to the County for verification and tabulation (on significantly different tabulating machines).

Wren is a former national finance adviser to Trump's 2020 campaign, and previously worked for Sen. Lindsey Graham and Utah Governor Jon Huntsman. She has been subpoenaed by the House January 6 Select Committee.

It has been reported that, at the infamous command center meetings on January 5 (2021) at the Willard Hotel, Wren boasted that she had raised $3M for the Jan. 6 rally and had "parked" monies with Turning Point, the Republican Attorneys General Association and others to support it.

Wren may not have raised money on Bannon's show yesterday, but the host did warn/predict that Lake is "a fighter" and her campaign is going to do something "more aggressive". Wren agreed and immediately noted "the courts are not on our side." 

The implication was left unsaid, but Kari Lake promptly tweeted the interview with the comment, "Caroline gets it."

Her most irony-filled statement was when she leveled the accusation against the County: "It's either total incompetence, or it's malice."

The full interview - complete with misleading and false statements - is here.

This article was reported by AZ Law founder Paul Weich. Paul was 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. 

AZ Law airs on non-profit Sun Sounds of Arizona, a statewide reading service that provides audio access to printed material for people who cannot hold or read print material due to a disability. If you know someone who could benefit from this 24/7 service, please let them know about member-supported Sun Sounds. And, YOU can donate or listen here. 

Previous episodes of AZ Law can be streamed or downloaded here, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

UPDATE: Republicans Voluntarily Dismiss Their E-Day Suit Re: Tabulator Problems

Facing a status hearing tomorrow, Republicans today voluntarily dismissed their Election Day lawsuit about the problems faced by Maricopa County voters when many Vote Center tabulators were not able to read the timing marks printed by the ballot printers. 

Republicans had sought to keep Vote Centers open past 7pm to permit voters to return to cast a tabulatable ballot. Judge Tim Ryan denied the motion, noting that there was no evidence that voters had been precluded from casting a ballot, even if it was not going to be tabulated on the spot. (Ballots were put into a slot to permit them to either be tabulated at the County elections center later or to be hand-duplicated/tabulated.)


This article was reported by AZ Law founder Paul Weich. Paul was 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. 

AZ Law airs on non-profit Sun Sounds of Arizona, a statewide reading service that provides audio access to printed material for people who cannot hold or read print material due to a disability. If you know someone who could benefit from this 24/7 service, please let them know about member-supported Sun Sounds. And, YOU can donate or listen here. 

Previous episodes of AZ Law can be streamed or downloaded here, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Cochise County Supervisors Sue Their Own Elections Director: Hand Count Or Turn Over the Ballots (READ Complaint)

(This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.)

Two of the Cochise County Supervisors have taken the unusual step of suing their own Elections Director, in their pursuit of expanding a hand count of ballots to 16 of the county's 17 Vote Centers.

Bisbee site big enough for the hand count

Lisa Marra is sticking to the state laws calling for a limited hand count audit of the machine counts. Supervisors Tom Crosby and Peggy Judd filed the suit, saying Marra "has refused to comply with the Board's lawful command to conduct an expanded hand count."

They ask the Court to order her to either conduct the hand count or turn over the ballots to Republican Recorder David Stevens - a former state legislator who has complained about Arizona's elections laws.

The case has been assigned to Pima County Superior Court Judge Casey McGinley.

This article was reported by AZ Law founder Paul Weich. Paul was 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. 

AZ Law airs on non-profit Sun Sounds of Arizona, a statewide reading service that provides audio access to printed material for people who cannot hold or read print material due to a disability. If you know someone who could benefit from this 24/7 service, please let them know about member-supported Sun Sounds. And, YOU can donate or listen here. 

Previous episodes of AZ Law can be streamed or downloaded here, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Monday, November 14, 2022

BREAKING UPDATE: AZGOP Chair Kelli Ward Backs Down, Dismisses Appeal To Block Jan. 6 Subpoena of Phone Records (READ Stip)

UPDATE, 11/21: Kelli Ward quietly backed down on Friday, agreeing to let go of her attempt to prevent the House Jan. 6 Select Committee from obtaining her cellphone call records from T-Mobile. 

Stopping her appeal of the dismissal of her lawsuit reflects an understanding that no judges or Supreme Court Justices thought she had enough of a case to put a temporary stay on handing over the data while an appeal was ongoing. It also shows that she understood that T-Mobile would be imminently complying; so why bother with the appeal.

Arizona's Law has asked T-Mobile's counsel for more details as to when the subpoena will be complied with.

UPDATE, 11/15: T-Mobile did indeed ask the 9th Circuit yesterday to allow Judge Humetewa to clarify her ruling. The goal is to eliminate any confusion and confirm that T-Mobile needs to turn over all call records, without trying to figure out which - if any - might belong to medical patients.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE, 11/14: WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT in Kelli Ward's Case To Stop Jan. 6 Subpoena? Disclose Patients' Phone Numbers, Or Not?

As noted earlier, the U.S. Supreme Court today turned down Kelli Ward's request they keep T-Mobile from turning over her cellphone call records to Congress' January 6 Select Committee. So, what will happen next?

The AZGOP Chair has been fighting this subpoena since February. District Court Judge Diane Humetewa dismissed the case in September. Since then, each court - Humetewa, the 9th Circuit and now the Supreme Court - has refused to stop T-Mobile from complying while an appeal of the dismissal is proceeding.

Before now turning over the records, T-Mobile will now ask the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to allow Judge Humetewa to CLARIFY her October 7 ruling. In that decision, there seemed to be some confusion about whether the Jan. 6th Committee had agreed to narrow its subpoena to (somehow) exclude the phone numbers of possible patients of Dr. Ward (and her physician husband, Michael).

After Committee attorneys had noted that they were not interested in the possible patients' info, the Court had encouraged the parties to try to narrow the subpoena to restrict them.

Ward's attorneys argued that there should be a protective order preventing patients' identities (e.g. phone numbers that would be investigated) from being turned over. "(T)he Select Committee should not be permitted to play fast and loose with its intentions when arguing hotly contested motions relating to unprecedented matters of such importance that they are now being scrutinized by the Supreme Court."

However, on November 4, Judge Humetewa said that, when asked by the 9th Circuit for a clarification, she would tell them that the subpoena is not narrowed. "Nevertheless, it remains implausible for T-Mobile to parse out those patient phone numbers and, despite this Court’s encouragement, the parties apparently have not discussed a process by which to do so."

It will probably now take several days or a few weeks for the Ninth Circuit and Judge Humetewa to go through the process. With the uncertainty still existing about which political party will be in control of the House of Representatives - and, the Committee - in January, those days or weeks may be critical to when and whether Ward's phone records are turned over and subsequently investigated.

This article was reported by AZ Law founder Paul Weich. Paul was 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. 

AZ Law airs on non-profit Sun Sounds of Arizona, a statewide reading service that provides audio access to printed material for people who cannot hold or read print material due to a disability. If you know someone who could benefit from this 24/7 service, please let them know about member-supported Sun Sounds. And, YOU can donate or listen here. 

Previous episodes of AZ Law can be streamed or downloaded here, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Thursday, November 10, 2022

BREAKING UPDATE: Arizona Supreme Court REFUSES To Take Cochise County Hand Count Appeal (Stays in intermediate Court of Appeals)

UPDATE, 11/11, 11:11am: The Arizona Supreme Court today refused to pull rank and take the Cochise County hand count appeal from the intermediate level Court of Appeals. Duty Justice Bill Montgomery considered the request (detailed below), and said no. The case will remain with Division 2 of the Court of Appeals.

In addition, the Court of Appeals (Div 2) yesterday REFUSED to treat this as an expedited election matter. The Court conducted a telephonic conference and Recorder David Stevens CONCEDED that this case did not meet the definition of an expedited elections matter. This means that the trial court's order to NOT hand count ALL ballots will stay in place through the canvassing process.


Original Article: BREAKING: Cochise County Asks AZ Supreme Court To Permit Hand Count Of All Ballots

Attorneys for the Cochise County Recorder and Board of Supervisors are asking the Arizona Supreme Court to take control of their appeal to permit a hand count of all ballots cast in Tuesday's election.

The Court has the authority to yank the appeal of the Superior Court Judge's injunction prohibiting the extra-legal hand count from the intermediate Court of Appeals.

The County says the transfer is necessary so that they can finish a hand count before certification of the results is required before the official canvassing of the results later this month. The request also cites the tabulator issues in Maricopa County as a factor in why "voter confidence in the accuracy of electronic tabulation is at an all-time low," although they cite no support for that claim. 

Here is their request:

This article was reported by AZ Law founder Paul Weich. Paul was 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. 

AZ Law airs on non-profit Sun Sounds of Arizona, a statewide reading service that provides audio access to printed material for people who cannot hold or read print material due to a disability. If you know someone who could benefit from this 24/7 service, please let them know about member-supported Sun Sounds. And, YOU can donate or listen here. 

Previous episodes of AZ Law can be streamed or downloaded here, or wherever you get your podcasts.


Monday, November 7, 2022

BREAKING: Superior Court Judge PROHIBITS Cochise County Bd of Supervisors from requiring a full hand count audit of tomorrow's election. (READ Decision)

(This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.)

Superior Court Judge PROHIBITS Cochise County Bd of Supervisors from requiring a full hand count audit of tomorrow's election. 

This article was reported by AZ Law founder Paul Weich. Paul was 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. 

AZ Law airs on non-profit Sun Sounds of Arizona, a statewide reading service that provides audio access to printed material for people who cannot hold or read print material due to a disability. If you know someone who could benefit from this 24/7 service, please let them know about member-supported Sun Sounds. And, YOU can donate or listen here. 

Previous episodes of AZ Law can be streamed or downloaded here, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Secretary of State and Union Group File Separate Suits To Force Cochise County To Certify Election

 ( This is a developing story. Please check back later for updates .) "AZ Law" includes articles, commentaries and updates abo...