Arizona Supreme Court Turns Down Kari Lake’s Appeal in Her Election Lawsuit
Arizona’s Supreme Court on Wednesday denied a request from Kari Lake to hear her lawsuit disputing her loss last year in the governor’s race. The lawsuit was based on what the court said was a false claim by Ms. Lake, a Republican, that more than 35,000 unaccounted ballots were accepted.
In a five-page order written by Chief Justice Robert Brutinel, the court determined that a vast majority of Ms. Lake’s legal claims, which had earlier been dismissed by lower courts, lacked merit.
“The Court of Appeals aptly resolved these issues,” Chief Justice Brutinel wrote, adding that the “petitioner’s challenges on these grounds are insufficient to warrant the requested relief under Arizona or federal law.”
But the justices on Wednesday ordered a trial court in Arizona’s most populous county, Maricopa, to conduct an additional review of that county’s procedures for verifying signatures on mail-in ballots, keeping one part of her lawsuit alive.
The decision dealt another setback to Ms. Lake, a former television news anchor whose strident election denialism helped her to gain the endorsement of former President Donald J. Trump.
Ms. Lake tried to put a positive spin on the ruling, contending on Twitter that remanding the signature verification aspect of her case back to the trial court was vindication.
“They have built a House of Cards in Maricopa County,” Ms. Lake wrote. “I’m not just going to knock it over. I’m going to burn it to the ground.”
Ms. Lake had argued that “a material number” of ballots with unmatched signatures were accepted in Maricopa County. The Supreme Court agreed with the appeals court ruling on the matter, effectively saying that she would have to show the numbers that prove the election outcome “would plausibly have been different, not simply an untethered assertion of uncertainty.”
She fell to Katie Hobbs, a Democrat who was Arizona’s secretary of state, by just over 17,000 votes out of about 2.6 million ballots cast in the battleground state — less than one percentage point.
Representatives for Ms. Hobbs, a defendant in Ms. Lake’s lawsuit, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday.
Ms. Lake has repeatedly pointed to technical glitches on Election Day, which disrupted some ballot counting in Maricopa County, to fuel conspiracy theories and baseless claims.
Stephen Richer, the Maricopa County recorder and a Republican who helps oversee elections, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday, but told The Arizona Republic that he respected the Supreme Court and that the additional judicial review would not change the outcome.
“We’ll now proceed and win, again, for about the 30th time,” he said.
Ms. Lake’s chief strategist, Colton Duncan, vowed that Ms. Lake’s lawyers would expose more fraud and corruption.
“Buckle up, it’s about to get fun,” he said.