Depending on who you ask, Wednesday’s Arizona Supreme Court ruling was either a stunning victory or a devastating defeat for Kari Lake in her lawsuit challenging the results of November’s gubernatorial election. Legacy media outlets framed the Court’s ruling as “mostly rejecting” Lake’s claims. Quantitatively, that is correct — of the seven claims asserted by Lake, six were rejected by the state’s high court, while one was remanded to the trial court for further review.
Per AZ Family:
The highest court in Arizona is giving former gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake another day to fight in court regarding the 2022 election. The Arizona Supreme Court said in paperwork filed on Wednesday the justices are granting the review of one of her seven claims. The complaint challenges how the Maricopa County recorder applied its signature verification policies during the election. The Supreme Court said since it was a challenge of application, not the policies themselves, it could move to a trial court. The Supreme Court won’t hear the case.
As for the other six challenges, the Supreme Court said they were focused on the proceedings in the trial court and were made on “insufficient” grounds. Also in the Supreme Court’s order were possible sanctions for Lake’s claim that “35,563 unaccounted-for ballots were added to the total of ballots at a third-party processing facility.”
But Lake and her supporters were rightly celebrating the ruling as it keeps her challenge alive.
HUGE: AZ Supreme Court Rules In Favor of Kari Lake, Forces Lower Court to Look at Signature Verification Issues
— Kari Lake (@KariLake) March 23, 2023
According to the final election results (as reported), Lake lost her bid to former Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs by 17,177 votes (out of over 2.5 million votes cast).
Lake subsequently filed suit challenging the election on several grounds, including the signature verification procedures and ballot irregularities. As RedState reported:
…during the two-day trial it was revealed that a change in printer setting that occurred on Election Day resulted in massive tabulation errors, as the ballots printed with those faulty settings were unable to be read by the machines. In addition, Lake’s team presented the court with evidence of chain-of-custody issues and affidavits from voters who were unable to vote due to the chaos that ensued.
Maricopa Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson ruled against Lake in December and she appealed to the Arizona Court of Appeals, which denied her appeal in February. Lake then appealed to the state’s Supreme Court.
In its Order, a copy of which is linked below, the Supreme Court held that the issue regarding the Maricopa County Recorder’s signature-verification policies during the election warranted review as it involved the application of the policies rather than the validity of the policies themselves. That issue was therefore sent back to the trial court
to determine whether the claim that Maricopa County failed to comply with A.R.S. § 16-550(A) fails to state a claim pursuant to Ariz. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) for reasons other than laches, or, whether Petitioner can prove her claim as alleged pursuant to A.R.S. § 16-672 and establish that “votes [were] affected ‘in sufficient numbers to alter the outcome of the election’” based on a “competent mathematical basis to conclude that the outcome would plausibly have been different, not simply an untethered assertion of uncertainty.” (Opinion ¶ 11.)
Lake’s campaign Twitter account happily shared the news and again highlighted some of the alleged irregularities.
This seems relevant. https://t.co/RQQ142ILv1
— Kari Lake War Room (@KariLakeWarRoom) March 23, 2023
While the Supreme Court Order also allowed the parties to brief the issue regarding the Defendants’ motion for sanctions, it limited the scope of the issue to Lake’s factual assertions and not legal arguments made in her Petition for Review.
For her part, Lake vowed to keep fighting.
They want to ARREST me for exposing fraud in the 2022 Election.
Now, the AZ Supreme Court has ruled that the very fraud I highlighted has to be looked at. This is big, folks.
Hit me with your best shot.
I will never, ever back down.
Try me. pic.twitter.com/YDIuprUM1W
— Kari Lake (@KariLake) March 23, 2023
Arizona Supreme Court Order:
Lake Orderrepetitionforreview 4731530 0 by Susie Moore on Scribd
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