Friday, May 24, 2024

Appeals Court Sides with Arizona GOP, Reverses $27,000 Sanctions in 2020 Election Case; Arizona GOP Wins State High Court Appeal of Sanctions for 2020 Election Challenge

Appeals court sides with Arizona GOP, reverses $27,000 sanctions in 2020 election case:
In a legal win for the Arizona Republican Party, the state Supreme Court reversed a lower court decision sanctioning the GOP over $27,000 after its unsuccessful efforts to challenge the Maricopa County election results in 2020.
The Arizona Republican Party originally sued Maricopa County after the 2020 elections, challenging its mandatory hand-count audit process.
The GOP alleged the audit process was improperly conducted due to the hand count using sample votes cast at centers open to all county voters, not from precincts, the Associated Press reported. The machine counts were 100% accurate, according to post-election tests.
The case was one of over 60 lawsuits challenging President Joe Biden’s victory over former President Donald Trump in 2020.
Judge John Hannah ruled the lawsuit was “meritless” in 2021 and ordered the state GOP to pay $18,000 in legal fees to the Secretary of State’s office.
The Arizona appeals court reaffirmed the decision in 2023, tacking on an additional $9,000 in sanctions.
“We hold that the attorney fees award was improper because Petitioners’ claim was not groundless, thus obviating any need to determine whether the claim was made in the absence of good faith,” Justice John Lopez wrote in the majority Republican Arizona Supreme Court’s unanimous decision. --->READ MORE HERE
Arizona GOP wins state high court appeal of sanctions for 2020 election challenge:
The Arizona Supreme Court has reversed lower court rulings that held the Arizona Republican Party responsible for more than $27,000 in sanctions and Secretary of State office attorney fees spent defending Maricopa County election procedures following the 2020 election.
“Even if done inadvertently and with the best of intentions, such sanctions present a real and present danger to the rule of law,” Justice John Lopez wrote in the unanimous decision issued Thursday.
The Arizona Republican Party hailed the ruling, saying in a statement it “reaffirms the fundamental legal principle that raising questions about the interpretation and application of election laws is a legitimate use of the judicial system, not a groundless or bad faith action.”
The case stemmed from a state GOP lawsuit alleging that Maricopa County improperly conducted a required hand-count of the accuracy of ballots from samples of votes cast at centers open to all county voters, not from precincts.
The county examination of some ballots showed its machine counts were 100% accurate, and the results of routine post-election tests also affirmed the accuracy of counting machines.
A Maricopa County judge dismissed the case in March 2021, declaring the Republican Party lawsuit groundless and saying it was brought in bad faith. He awarded over $18,000 in attorney’s fees to the Secretary of State’s office. --->READ MORE HERE
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