Latest from AZ Law - Page 2

In a long-awaited decision, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Melissa Iyer Julian decided that unsuccessful Secretary of State candidate Mark Finchem and his attorney, Dan McCauley, WILL BE SANCTIONED for filing a “groundless” Election Contest. The amount of attorneys’ fees incurred by the now-Secretary of State Adrian Fontes and the Secretary of State’s Office will be submitted later this month.Per Arizona statutory and case law, found that the Election Contest was “groundless” and was “filed in bad faith.” She has not yet decided how she will apportion the sanctions award between Finchem and his attorney – either one could be
Continue Reading BREAKING: Sanctions Against Mark Finchem/Attorney For "Conscious Decision To Pursue (Election Contest That)…Had No Legal Merit" (READ Decision)

The $75,516 in sanctions levied against U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar, new State Senator Anthony Kern and defeated Secretary of State candidate Mark Finchem were “richly deserved”, and they were guilty of “harassment” and “political pandering” in the their defamation action against a former colleague.The attorneys for former State Representative Charlene Fernandez filed their Answering Brief (below) last week, and are seeking additional sanctions for what they call a “groundless and bad-faith appeal”. “Appellants made multiple false factual statements and dramatically mischaracterized settled law” in both their original action and in their Opening Brief, they argue.We reported previously on the Opening
Continue Reading NEW AND FIRST: "Richly Deserved" $75k Sanctions Against Gosar/Finchem/Kern Warranted Because of "Political Pandering", "Harassment", Rules and Case Law –Fernandez attorneys (READ: Brief)

Republican state lawmakers are resisting complying with subpoenas for emails and texts from 2021 when they passed a law taking the “permanent” out of the early voting list. The discovery battle is likely part of the reason they changed their rules this year to allow text messages to be deleted immediately and official emails after just 90 days.The lawmakers – who were not named in yesterday’s report to the judge – have turned over 33,000 records to plaintiffs attorneys, but are claiming “legislative privilege” to avoid turning over an undisclosed number of other emails and texts.Late this afternoon, U.S. District
Continue Reading BREAKING, BEHIND THE SCENES: GOP AZ Lawmakers Resisting Subpoenas Re: Killing Permanent Early Voting List In 2021; Is This Why They Are Deleting Emails/Texts Faster?

The Arizona Supreme Court should keep the Territorial-era complete ban on abortions but nullify all the laws passed between 1973 and 2022. That is how the people of Arizona have spoken, argued the Alliance Defending Freedom and physician Eric Hazelrigg to the Supreme Court on Wednesday.Hazelrigg intervened in the case that was initially brought by Planned Parenthood after the U.S. Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade in 1973. After that court overturned Roe in last year’s Dobbs decision, the Arizona injunction against the Territorial-era complete ban came back into play, and then-AG Mark Brnovich successfully convinced Superior Court Judge
Continue Reading NEW AND FIRST: Overturning Roe v. Wade ERASED Arizona's Roe-Era Restrictive Laws, Anti-Abortion Advocates Tell AZ Supreme Court

 The Arizona Supreme Court today REVERSED a $95,000 fine against a pop-up organization for the ad campaign they ran supporting Doug Ducey’s first run for Governor in 2014.The opinion continuing the “ping ponging” legal battle sending it back to Maricopa County Superior Court to determine whether the Clean Elections Commission had subject matter jurisdiction was unanimous, and written by Vice Chief Justice Ann Timmer.Timmer was placed on the Supreme Court by Gov. Jan Brewer. Two of the five justices appointed by Gov. Ducey recused themselves from the current proceeding.The mysterious Legacy Foundation Action Fund from Iowa surprised Arizona political
Continue Reading BREAKING: AZ Supreme Court REVERSES $95k Fine Against 2014 Ads Helping Ducey's Run For Governor (READ Opinion)

The Arizona Supreme Court says that once Mark Brnovich’s Attorney General’s Office files for a warrant of execution, Kris Mayes’s Attorney General’s Office cannot withdraw it. Thus, the April 6 execution of Aaron Brian Gunches must move forward, they ruled this afternoon.Chief Justice Robert Brutinel indicated that the Court’s hands are tied. He wrote for the Court that:”In sum, once a motion or notice… is filed by the State requesting a warrant of execution showing that all the requirements… have been satisfied, and there are no constitutional or statutory impediments to proceeding, absent a subsequent showing of good cause that
Continue Reading BREAKING: AZ Supreme Court Orders Execution of Gunches To Continue, REFUSES To Allow State To Withdraw Request For Warrant (READ Order&Warrant)

Former Arizona State Representative Don Shooter lost another round in his five-year legal battle stemming from his expulsion from the House on sexual harassment charges. The Court of Appeals today affirmed the dismissal of the remaining counts in his defamation and conspiracy case against former House Speaker (now Senator) J.D. Mesnard, former Ducey Chief of Staff Kirk Adams and the State.Shooter’s efforts have brought him to the Superior Court (at least three times), the Court of Appeals (twice), the Arizona Supreme Court, U.S. District Court, Ninth Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court (once each). He has lost ground
Continue Reading BREAKING: A New Verse In "The Long and Sad Legal Ballad of Don Shooter" (READ Decision)

When Arizonans’ confidence in the security and integrity of elections is barely over the midpoint in the latest public opinion survey, the question of whether the glass is half full or half empty becomes a key question. While my friends at O.H. Predictive Insights have chosen to use an optimistic headline (“Election Integrity: So Last Year; A Majority of Arizona Voters are Confident in the Security of Arizona’s Elections“), and I have – against my typical nature – gone the more pessimistic route, there can be no disagreement on the numbers: (1) 61% of self-identifying Republicans are less than
Continue Reading BREAKING/NOT SURPRISING: Confidence In AZ Election Integrity Continues To Slip During Post-Election Litigation Period, OUR Survey Question Finds (COMMENTARY)

UPDATE, 6:30pm: It does appear that Lake’s attorneys filed a separate request to expedite consideration of their request for review. We asked both Lake’s attorneys and the Court for the Motion to Expedite. We will update as warranted.***Kari Lake, who finished second in the race to succeed Doug Ducey as Arizona’s Governor, has brought her Election Contest to the Arizona Supreme Court. Her attorneys lead off by saying that the previous judges to consider the matter declared that Arizona’s “election laws don’t matter.”Lake lost in Superior Court after a two-day trial in which she brought forth witnesses to allege
Continue Reading BREAKING: Claiming Court of Appeals Declared "Election Laws Don't Matter," Lake Files Long-Awaited AZ Supreme Court Petition For Review (READ Petition)

The Arizona Supreme Court will hear Tempe’s appeal to keep a referendum on the proposed $1.8 billion South Pier project from going to a future ballot. The decision (below) was made public last night.Both Tempe and the group which collected the petition signatures, “Workers for Responsible Development”, had asked the Supreme Court to reconsider different aspects of last month’s Court of Appeals decision. The intermediate court had decided it should go to the ballot.The Justices are treating this as an expedited elections case, and all briefing will be completed before April 3. The case will then be set for oral
Continue Reading UPDATE: AZ Supreme Court Will Decide Whether Referendum On A $1.8B Tempe Town Lake Development Will Be On Ballot (READ Decision)

If the judge had made an off-hand statement that the sky was blue, Mark Finchem would be appealing that, too. Finchem lost his Election Contest for his Secretary of State race against Adrian Fontes more than two months ago, but his zombie appeal is inching forward.On Friday, Finchem’s attorney, Dan McCauley, filed his Case Management Statement with the Court of Appeals. In it, he lists eight decisions made by Superior Court Judge Melissa Julien which he believes to be reversible error. In her December 16 Minute Entry dismissing Finchem’s case, Judge Julien broke down her ruling into six sections; McCauley
Continue Reading UPDATE: Finchem Attorney (1) Acknowledges Missed Deadline, (2) Mistakenly Adds Hobbs As Individual Defendant, (3) Tells Court He's Appealing *Everything* – Including the Kitchen Sink

 Democratic and Republican leaders in the Arizona State Senate met to discuss the activities in the Senate Elections Committee, weeks before Thursday’s “presentation” went off the rails in pushing a vast cartel-led bribery conspiracy theory.Arizona’s Politics/Arizona’s Law has verified (from two different sources) the Feb. 6 meeting between Senate President Warren Petersen and Minority Leader Raquel Teran and ranking committee member Juan Mendez. Democrats say Thursday’s day-long presentation to the House and Senate Elections Committees “of course violated what Democrats had hope would come of the meeting.”The Feb. 6 meeting was requested by the two Democratic Senators after Senate
Continue Reading NEW AND FIRST: AZ Senate Leaders Met About "Hostile Behavior" In Elections Committee Weeks Before Bribery Conspiracy Theory

When Arizona lawmakers passed their 2021 anti-abortion law prohibiting procedures solely because of a genetic abnormality and declaring “personhood” for fetuses, they added a clause saying the Legislature could subsequently pass a concurrent resolution to appoint members to intervene in any resulting legal action.The measure has been in the courts ever since, and earlier this month, House Speaker Ben Toma and Senate President Warren Petersen – through their attorneys at the Alliance Defending Freedom – asked the judge to allow them to intervene.Plaintiffs – including the Arizona Medical Association and the Arizona chapters of the National Organization of Women
Continue Reading BREAKING – GOP Leaders To Judge: New Legislative Rules Permit Us To Ignore Part of 2021 Law In Order To Protect Rest Of the Abortion Restriction Measure (READ Filings)

In a surprising decision and rebuke, the U.S. Supreme Court today vacated the death sentence for a man convicted for shooting and killing a Tucson police officer in 2003. The 5-4 decision stems from the initial sentencing, when the jury was improperly instructed its choice was between a death penalty and a life sentence with a possibility of parole.But today’s Opinion (below) was based on more than just that sentence, and it was a strong rebuke to the way the Arizona Supreme Court determined this case and previous similarly-situated cases. In fact, it stems from a 2016 U.S. Supreme
Continue Reading BREAKING: U.S. Supreme Court OVERTURNS Arizona Death Sentence For a Tucson Cop Killer, Again Criticizes Arizona Supreme Court (READ Opinion)

One of former AZ Attorney General Mark Brnovich’s top lieutenants is standing by and ready to argue Arizona v. Mayorkas in front of the U.S. Supreme Court. However, in the wake of last November’s election, Drew Ensign will be there on behalf of Louisiana.Mind you, the U.S. Supreme Court itself is sending out mixed signals on whether or not they are going to hear the case that is a splinter from a challenge to the Biden Administration’s on-again, off-again, on-again lifting of using Title 42 as an immigration policy.Last week, Arizona’s Law reported that the Court had REMOVED the case
Continue Reading UPDATE, MYSTERIES (MOSTLY) RESOLVED: Fmr AZAG Deputy Solicitor General Ready To Argue "Arizona v. Mayorkas" Title 42 Case In Front Of U.S. Supreme Court… For Louisiana

In an unusual move, Arizona Attorney General runner-up Abe Hamadeh continues to add to his legal team in his still-dismissed-and-in-suspended-animation Election Contest lawsuit. Although there is nothing left for either his original attorney (Tim LaSota) or his later-added attorneys to file or do in Mohave County Superior Court, Hamadeh added Nevada Attorney General runner-up Sigal Chattah to his growing team.Chattah lost her race by 7.8%, or nearly 20,000 votes. That is far more than the 280-vote gap separating AG Kris Mayes and Hamadeh.Hamadeh lost his Election Contest in December, after a trial that fizzled out when he could not
Continue Reading UPDATE: Hamadeh Keeps Adding New Attorneys For His Still-Dismissed Election Contest; Brings In Fellow Controversial 2nd-Place Finisher (READ Filing)