Arizona Supreme Court Unanimously Reverses Sanctions Against AZGOP for Its Lawsuit Challenging Maricopa County’s Hand Count

The Arizona Supreme Court issued a unanimous ruling on Thursday reversing an award of sanctions against the Arizona Republican Party (AZGOP) and its attorneys for bringing an election integrity lawsuit. The AZGOP sued Maricopa County election officials over how they conducted the mandatory hand count audit after the 2020 election. The state’s highest court said there is some merit to election lawsuits, even if a “long shot,” and ruling against them for questioning an “election’s legitimacy” would have a “chilling effect.”

The AZGOP issued a statement after the state Supreme Court’s decision.

“We are pleased with the Supreme Court of Arizona’s decision to reverse and vacate the attorney fees awards previously levied against us,” the AZGOP said. “This ruling reaffirms the fundamental legal principle that raising questions about the interpretation and application of election laws is a legitimate use of the judicial system, not a groundless or bad faith action. We remain committed to ensuring that election laws are followed precisely, upholding the integrity of our electoral process.”

Arizona Supreme Court Justice John R. Lopez, who authored the court’s opinion last month upholding Arizona’s 1864 law banning almost all abortions, wrote the opinion, which reversed Maricopa County Superior Court John Hannah’s opinion and vacated the Arizona Court of Appeals’ opinion.

Hannah issued multiple decisions previously against Kari Lake’s election lawsuit.

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