Maricopa County judge dismisses lawsuit over Arizona Republican Party’s election

C.J. Diegel is one of more than 9,292 Republicans who requested to change their party registration from Republican to independent, Democrat or Libertarian since the Capitol riot, according to numbers compiled by the Arizona Secretary of State’s office from January 6 through January 24.

By Yvonne Wingett Sanchez | Arizona Republic

A Maricopa County Superior Court judge has dismissed a lawsuit involving GOP activists’ quest to redo the Arizona Republican Party’s election of officers over what they deemed various irregularities during the Jan. 23 vote. 

Judge Michael Kemp agreed with the state party’s attorney that the dispute is limited to internal political party elections — not public elections — and cannot be decided in a court of law. 

The ruling is a victory for state party officials who have downplayed problems in the election and have cast the activists as the disgruntled opponents of state GOP Chair Kelli Ward and her brand of politics.

“Whether or not any chicanery took place in the voting process on January 23, this Court finds that it does not have judicial authority to intervene in an inter-party dispute that is guided by rules and procedures agreed upon by an independent political party,” Kemp wrote. 

In his ruling, which appeared electronically Monday, Kemp said the case presented a “non-justiciable” internal political dispute. He noted that political parties are distinct from other private groups and are subject to less judicial scrutiny than others. 

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