By Terri Jo Neff |
The Arizona Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake must start her election challenge appeal at the Arizona Court of Appeals – Division 1, rejecting Lake’s argument for a transfer of the case in hopes of expedited handling.
The order declining Lake’s request to bypass a three-judge panel at the court of appeals in Phoenix noted “no good cause appears to transfer the matter to this court.” It also noted there had already been a scheduling order issued in case with possible oral argument slated for Jan.24.
It is a decision Lake appears to have accepted.
The defendants in Lake’s election challenge include the five members of the Maricopa County board of supervisors, the county’s two elections directors, and Recorder Stephen Richer. Katie Hobbs was also a defendant in her official capacity as Arizona Secretary of State at the time of the election.
The courts have now substituted Adrian Fontes as the defendant in his role as the new secretary of state, although Hobbs remains a defendant in her personal capacity as a contestee for governor.
Lake filed on Dec. 30 to have the Arizona Court of Appeals overturn the findings made by Judge Peter Thompson of the Maricopa County Superior Court, who denied Lake’s election challenge on Dec. 24 after a two-day trial.
Then, as reported by AZ Free News, Lake’s attorneys filed a petition the next day to transfer the appeal directly to the Arizona Supreme Court.
The three judges assigned to the panel that will hear Lake’s appeal are Maria Elena Cruz, Angela K. Paton, and Peter B. Swann.