Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Melissa Julian awarded sanctions last week against Mark Finchem and his attorney Tom McCauley over Finchem’s lawsuit challenging his election loss in the Arizona Secretary of State’s race. Democrat Adrian Fontes, who won the race, asked the court for sanctions in December. Finchem and McCauley will be required to pay attorneys fees, the legal costs of Fontes’, and then-Secretary of State Katie Hobbs’ office defending against the lawsuit.
Finchem issued a statement after the ruling.
“The 6-page order by Judge Julian to award lawyer reimbursement to leftist litigators who represent the Sinaloa Cartel, now the installed Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes, and Katie Hobbs, the installed Governor of Arizona, is contemptible judicial overreach beyond all statutory and Rules of Civil Procedure for the Superior Courts of Arizona,” he said. “This award is designed to quash any and all dissent where elections are in question. The Maricopa County 2022 election was the most embarrassing election in American history. As a result, 70% of Americans doubt the outcome of the 2022 elections in Arizona (Rasmussen Poll).”
He added, “Judge Julian is punishing me for daring to assert my 1st Amendment protections, which constitutionally guarantee separation of powers, and has shredded statutory protection for contestants to challenge suspicious election results. This is the dawn of the one-party state banana republic as we have seen in Venezuela and many other South American nation-states. Judge Julian should be removed from the bench for her abuse of judicial authority.”
In her eight-page opinion, Julian said the lawsuit was “groundless and not brought in good faith,” and would not have “changed the vote count enough to overcome the 120,000 votes he needed to affect the result of this election.” The latter is the same standard that judges have used to dismiss election lawsuits by Kari Lake and Abe Hamadeh. However, both Lake and Hamadeh provided a precedent in Arizona law to the courts, which used a different standard; the courts there merely required that the evidence cast “uncertainty” on the outcome.
Read the rest of the article at The Arizona Sun Times