An Obama-appointed federal judge ordered Arizona Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake’s lawyers to pay the legal fees of Maricopa County election officials in a previous failed lawsuit to prevent the use of electronic voting machines in last month’s elections. Details here:
Lake says it’s highly unusual to put sanctions on plaintiffs in public interest lawsuits, and alleged that this is meant to send a message that nobody had better dare challenge the election system. But the judge claims the plaintiffs made “false, misleading, and unsupported” claims in their complaint. He wrote, “Imposing sanctions in this case is not to ignore the importance of putting in place procedures to ensure that our elections are secure and reliable. It is to make clear that the court will not condone litigants ignoring the steps that Arizona has already taken toward this end and furthering false narratives that baselessly undermine public trust at a time of increasing disinformation about, and distrust in, the democratic process. It is to send a message to those who might file similarly baseless suits in the future.”
Not being an attorney, I can’t say whether the judge’s ruling is legally sound. But I will say that if he thinks he’s protecting the public’s trust in the secure and reliable way that the “democratic process” is handled in Maricopa County, he sure has lousy timing.