Cases May 30, 2023

Lake v. Hobbs – 2022 Election Contest (AZ)

Issue Areas

On Dec. 9, 2022, Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake filed an election contest in Maricopa County Superior Court, claiming that the results of the governor’s race, which Lake lost to Katie Hobbs, should be overturned. States United served as pro bono co-counsel to defendant Secretary Hobbs, in what was then her official capacity as secretary of state, alongside Coppersmith Brockelman PLC.

On Dec. 15, Hobbs filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that there was no evidence to support Lake’s claims or to overturn the will of the voters. For example, there was no evidence of “intentional interference” or “hacking” of Maricopa County’s election equipment on Election Day, and Lake’s claims regarding supposed chain-of-custody issues for ballots were purely speculative. 

On Dec. 19, Judge Peter A. Thompson dismissed eight of Lake’s 10 counts and narrowed one of the remaining counts. An evidentiary hearing was held on Dec. 21 and 22 on the remaining two counts. 

On Dec. 24, Thompson ruled in the defendants’ favor, rejecting the election contest and confirming Hobbs’s victory over Lake in the 2022 Arizona governor’s race.

Lake filed a notice of appeal in the appellate court on Dec. 27. She also requested an expedited review by the Arizona Supreme Court. The state Supreme Court declined to review the matter at that time because the case was still pending before the appellate court. 

On Feb. 16, the court of appeals affirmed the trial court’s ruling in defendants’ favor.  

On Mar. 22, the Arizona Supreme Court issued a ruling affirming the lower courts’ decisions dismissing six of the seven counts. However, the Supreme Court sent the case back to the trial court to determine whether the one remaining count should be allowed to proceed or whether it could be dismissed on other grounds.  

Latest Update

The Maricopa County Superior Court held a three-day trial on the one remaining count in Lake’s case—related to mail-in ballot signature verification. On May 22, Judge Thompson ruled that Lake failed to prove misconduct by county election officials, once again dismissing the case and confirming Hobbs’s victory over Lake in the 2022 Arizona governor’s race.

The Arizona Supreme Court ordered Lake’s lawyers in the case to pay a $2,000 fine for “unequivocally false” claims made in court about the 2022 election.

As of early 2023, States United no longer represents the office of the Secretary of State in this case.

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