UPDATE, 5:20pm: BREAKING: Arizona Supreme Court AGAIN Refuses To Accept @KariLake's direct appeal to them
The Arizona Supreme Court Justices, without any noted dissent, AGAIN refused to order the transfer of Kari Lake's Election Contest appeal from the Court of Appeals. In an Order issued in less than 24 hours after it the 2nd Petition was filed, Duty Justice John R. Lopez IV wrote that "the Court has no reason to doubt that the Court of Appeals appreciates Petitioner's desire for an expedited resolution".
Lake's attorneys tried to justify the request by noting that the Court of Appeals had vacated oral argument, and that that would "ope(n) the door to months of potential delay." In fact, the Court had never set an oral argument.
As noted below and elsewhere, Arizona's Law has repeatedly discussed the ways in which Lake and her attorneys have made decisions - or, the lack of decisions - which have substantially lengthened their appeals process. Today's example is that they waited until last night to file this 2nd petition. Nothing has changed in the past couple of weeks, and this request could have been filed back when the Court of Appeals pushed back the January 24 conference to February 1.
Not that they are predicting an outcome below, but the Supreme Court AGAIN told Lake that she can come back to them to seek "expedited review of an adverse decision after the Court of Appeals has had an adequate opportunity to consider the pleadings, conference the matter, and prepare a well-considered decision." (Justice Lopez also seems to acknowledge that there will not be oral argument before the Court of Appeals.)
BREAKING: Too Many Errors By Judge and Defendants - Lake Attorneys File Reply Brief and Motions In Election Contest, Still Having Trouble With Properly Expediting Appeal (READ Filings)
Kari Lake's attorneys have so much to say about the dismissal of her Election Contest that they are asking for an exception to the word count in their newly-filed Reply Brief. Surprisingly, they are also (just now) again asking the Arizona Supreme Court to grab the appeal from the intermediate level Court of Appeals.
Here is their raft of late night filings to both courts, below.
Asking to file a longer Brief than permitted by court rules is not unusual for complex cases. Lake's attorneys note that the Answering Briefs filed by the multiple defendants exceeded the 14,000 words each was permitted on their own, so Lake should be able to file 8,350 words - more than the 7,000 permitted in a Reply.
More surprisingly, Lake waited until last night to again ask the Arizona Supreme Court to consider her appeal(s) immediately. This is the 2nd time they have asked, and neither has been done as immediately as possible and warranted in a truly emergency election appeal. Without dissent, the Supreme Court rejected the previous effort, although part of that was because the Justices noted the two different appeals which the attorneys had filed.
We have previously analyzed how this appeal likely would have been decided by the Arizona Supreme Court in the first week of Janauary if Lake's legal team followed court rules and longstanding best practices on election cases.
Briefly, although Lake filed a Notice of Appeal shortly after the Superior Court case went against them early in the last week of December, they should have brought it to the appellate courts for expedited treatment that week. Instead, they waited until the long holiday weekend and inappropriately filed a 2nd appeal (the "Special Action") with the Court of Appeals. This delayed and confused things after New Year's, and helped prompt the Supreme Court to decline to grab it (i.e. choose to transfer it from the Court of Appeals to decide it more quickly).
Although we will review the Reply Brief more fully, it appears Lake is rehashing the laundry list previously presented of how Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson and defendants' attorneys just do not realize how bad the election was and all of the errors they made in the trial.
The three judge panel is slated to conference the case on Feb. 1. Because none of the parties asked for it, it is less likely the court will set a public oral argument on the case. And, we are not sure how quickly the Arizona Supreme Court will rule on this renewed motion for transfer.
(This is a breaking story. Please check back for further updates.)
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.