Kari Lake’s election challenge: Hearings canceled as Arizona Supreme Court considers punishment

Arizona Supreme Court

ByStacey Barchenger || The Arizona Republic

The election challenge filed by former GOP gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake will extend for weeks more following two court orders Saturday that set schedules to sort out the remaining issues in the case.

Last week, the Arizona Supreme Court sent a single claim in Lake’s case — her allegation that Maricopa County’s practice of verifying ballot signatures didn’t follow state law — back to a county judge for reconsideration. That county judge set a schedule to examine the signature verification issue with the possibility of oral arguments this week.

Now, those dates are off.

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson on Saturday rescinded his order from just days before after the Supreme Court, in its own Saturday order, set a schedule to consider whether Lake should face sanctions for bringing a case that Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs’ legal team has dubbed frivolous.

The state’s top court said Lake and Hobbs should file written arguments by April 12 on the appropriateness of sanctions. Hobbs is asking a judge to make Lake pay her attorneys’ fees and other costs. Secretary of State Adrian Fontes has also sought unspecified sanctions against Lake.

In depth:What to know about the claims, the evidence and the law in Lake’s signature verification challenge

Because the Supreme Court is still considering an element of the case, Thompson wiped from his own calendar the dates set to review the allegations Lake made about signature verification practices.

“However, the Supreme Court has since set a briefing schedule on pending motions for sanctions before that court,” Thompson wrote on Saturday. “There are matters unresolved at the appellate level which prevents an expedited mandate.”


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March 2023