The Arizona Supreme Court has issued a ruling that sanctions the Republican National Committee in a case related to the 2022 election, according to Democratic lawyer Marc Elias.
This ruling follows a request made by Abe Hamadeh, a state GOP attorney general candidate who lost to Democrat Kris Mayes by just 280 votes, for the court to overturn his defeat and order for a new election after all other attempts had failed.
The implications of this decision remain unknown; however, it is certain that it will have far-reaching effects on both Republican and Democratic parties in Arizona.
In July, Mohave County Superior Court Judge Lee Jantzen rejected a legal claim from Hamedeh that there were more than 500 “uncounted votes in Pinal County” and as many as 1,000 rejected provisional ballots due to changes made to Service Arizona and the Arizona Voter Information Database.
Despite this rejection, Hamedeh elected to take his case straight to the Arizona Supreme Court where his arguments were once again rejected.
“Because Petitioners were not only aware that they needed a final judgment to seek appellate relief but also misrepresented to this Court that they had sought such relief when they had not done so, and because this representation was the underlying premise upon which this petition was brought, and because all of Petitioners’ claims for trial court error can be presented on appeal, we find that the special action unnecessarily expanded the proceeding and compelled Respondents to incur the unnecessary expense of filing their court-ordered response,” the Supreme Court ruling noted, according to Raw Story.
“Therefore, IT IS FURTHER ORDERED (sic) granting Respondent Mayes’ and Respondent Fontes’ request against Petitioners … and for their reasonable attorney fees incurred to respond to the petition,” it continued.
In an X post, Elias said that Hamadeh would be responsible for paying the respondents’ attorney fees.
NEW: Arizona Supreme Court sanctions RNC, Abe Hamadeh for misrepresenting facts stated in petition to the court. Orders payment of other sides attorney fees. pic.twitter.com/TWLBzktWX3
— Marc E. Elias (@marceelias) August 24, 2023
Hamadeh initially filed his action last fall. According to The Western Journal at the time:
The counts moving forward paint a damning portrait of incompetence and malfeasance that could easily lend itself to significantly altering a 511-vote victory.
The first count of the election challenge specifically targets Maricopa County and alleges “erroneous count of votes and election board misconduct; wrongful disqualification of provisional and early ballots.” The second count also specifically targets Maricopa County and similarly alleges “erroneous count of votes and election board misconduct; wrongful exclusion of provisional voters.”
The third count, which targets multiple election officials — including Mayes and Gov.-elect Katie Hobbs — alleges “erroneous count of votes: inaccurate ballot duplications.” The final count moving forward alleges “illegal votes and erroneous count of votes: improper ballot adjudications.”
Arizona Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs faced significant backlash last week when she voiced her opinion that there had not yet been sufficient charges brought against former President Donald Trump.
At an event in Phoenix, according to KTAR, Hobbs was asked, “Would you like to see the Arizona attorney general follow suit with Georgia and Michigan and move forward on pressing charges against President Trump?”
Hobbs replied: “Absolutely. I have been an advocate for holding folks involved in trying to overturn the will of the voters in the 2020 election accountable, and this is part of that process.”
“Accountability is critical. I don’t think we’re going to change direction until there’s accountability at the top level,” she continued. “And this is an important step forward that I think should move forward and play out in the legal process.”
Her 2022 GOP opponent, Kari Lake, called her out.
“In 2020 @katiehobbs ran a sham election & gave @JoeBiden Arizona In 2022 Hobbs ran a sham election & gave herself a promotion. Now, she’s using her illegitimate office to order her illegitimate AG to INDICT @realDonaldTrump & Grassroots Arizonans. If the fake news is wondering THIS is what a threat to democracy looks like,” Lake, a former Phoenix area newscaster, wrote on X.