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Supreme Court rejects Kari Lake appeal in her latest legal setback

Arizona’s Kari Lake didn't need yet another legal setback, but the Republican conspiracy theorist just suffered one anyway.


Arizona’s Kari Lake has found herself at the center of several court cases in recent years, and none has gone her way. In the wake of her defeat in a 2022 gubernatorial race, for example, the Republican filed a lawsuit, ostensibly to present evidence of election irregularities. That didn’t turn out well for the GOP conspiracy theorist.

Lake is also, of course, dealing with an ongoing defamation case, though as NBC News recently reported, she appears poised to lose this case, too.

But perhaps most notable of all was her first election-related lawsuit, filed two years ago this week, which continues to be an embarrassment for the Senate candidate. The Associated Press reported:

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to consider a request by Republican U.S. Senate candidate Kari Lake to ban the use of electronic vote-counting machines in Arizona. ... The Supreme Court’s decision not to take the vote-counting case marks the end of the road for the effort to require a hand count of ballots. No justices dissented when the court denied their request.

It’s been a while since we last covered this one, so a refresher is probably in order.

Lake and former Republican secretary of state candidate Mark Finchem filed a case in federal court in April 2022, asking that Maricopa and Pima counties be blocked from using electronic election equipment. It wasn’t altogether clear why Lake had a problem with electronic election equipment, or why local officials shouldn’t be allowed to utilize the technology, and the case was thrown out a few months later. Ordinarily, that would’ve been that.

But in this case, members of the Republican-dominated Maricopa County Board of Supervisors sought sanctions against the plaintiffs for making “numerous false allegations” in the lawsuit.

U.S. District Court Judge John Tuchi ultimately agreed, ordering sanctions against Lake’s attorneys for having filed a “frivolous” and deceptive complaint.

While the plaintiffs sought “massive, perhaps unprecedented federal judicial intervention” to change Arizona’s election system before the recent election, “they never had a factual basis or legal theory that came anywhere close to meeting that burden,” the judge wrote.

Tuchi went on to say he would “not condone litigants ... furthering false narratives that baselessly undermine public trust at a time of increasing disinformation about, and distrust in, the democratic process.”

It was this case that Lake appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. It was also this case that the justices discarded without comment, handing the Republican yet another setback as her Senate campaign advances.

This post updates our related earlier coverage.