Thursday, November 30, 2023

BREAKING: Kari Lake's Lawsuit To Get Ballot Envelopes Fails; "Her Goose Failed To Lay The (Golden) Egg She Expected" (READ Minute Entry)

Kari Lake does not have the right to get Maricopa County early voters' ballot affidavit envelopes with their signatures, a judge ruled today.

After an unusual two day public records request trial in September, Superior Court Judge John Hannah waited until the end of his 60 days to issue his opinion. The 12-page Minute Entry (below) explains why he concluded that Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer was correct in denying Lake's PRR for the envelopes.

Hannah indicated that he had earlier denied the County's Motion to Dismiss the Special Action lawsuit because the parties had not clearly defined whether the envelopes that voters sign to indicate that they had legally voted the ballot inside were part of the "voter registration record".

Having now considered the matter further, the Court concludes that the Recorder correctly relied on section 16-168(F) as a basis for refusing to disclose the ballot affidavit envelopes. As a matter of law, section 16-168(F) presumptively forecloses wholesale disclosure of the ballot affidavit envelopes to Ms. Lake because they are “records containing a voter’s signature,” and because the Recorder in fact makes them part of the “voter registration record” and uses them for signature verification in subsequent elections.

Hannah also curtly disposed of Lake's attorneys' (Bryan Blehm and Kurt Olsen) argument that they needed the envelopes as part of their ongoing legal challenge to the results of the 2022 gubernatorial election. The Minute Entry notes that that case is well beyond the trial and evidence-gathering phases - it is on appeal - and, importantly, that they had not even argued that Maricopa County had erroneously verified an early ballot through a bad signature match. Instead, Lake had claimed the County did not do any signature matching. "That argument failed. She does not get to start over with a different argument now."

In a memorable conclusion to the Minute Entry, Judge Hannah went back to Aesop's Fables for an analogy.


 

This article was reported by AZ Law founder Paul Weich. 

"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 29, 2023

BREAKING: Indictments Returned Against Cochise County Supervisors For Election Interference

 (This is a breaking story. Please check back for further info.)

UPDATE: The indictment has now been set in Maricopa County (CR2023-008495).

WORTH NOTING: The activity allowing it to proceed in Maricopa - rather than Cochise - County is that their actions "affected the Secretary of State’s ability to complete the canvass/certification."

This article was reported by AZ Law founder Paul Weich. 

"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 22, 2023

BREAKING: "No Thanks"; AZ Supreme Court Giving Kari Lake The Boot In Latest Effort To Remove Her 2022 Election Contest Appeal From Southern Arizona Appeals Court

The Arizona Supreme Court unanimously refused Kari Lake's latest effort to leapfrog the intermediate Court of Appeals, and have the Justices instead decide her 2022 Election Contest appeal.

Justice Bill Montgomery drew the short straw to write up the Order (below) before the Thanksgiving holiday. (Lake had filed the Motion last week to transfer the case.)

"Appellant Lake does not show good cause for transferring the appeal from the court of appeals, where the matter has been fully briefed."

On Monday, Lake asked the Justices to sanction Maricopa County for their Response, alleging "repeated and deliberate mischaracterizations of the record and Arizona law". (Motion and proposed Reply below.) Montgomery was not impressed with that, either; he denied the request to file a Reply and declared that the sanctions issue was, thus, moot. (Lake has been sanctioned in the past by the court for such misconduct.)

The appeal remains with Division 2 of the intermediate Court of Appeals, where briefing was completed last week.

This article was reported by AZ Law founder Paul Weich. 

"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.


BREAKING: AZ House Speaker Toma & Senate Pres. Petersen Waived Leg Privilege, Must Sit For Depos In Transgender Sports Case; But, Minor Girls Do, Too

In a twist this afternoon, a judge issued an Order compelling Arizona House Speaker Ben Toma and Senate President Warren Petersen to sit for...