The Arizona Court of Appeals has set a date of February 1st for conferencing on Kari Lake’s lawsuit attempting to overturn the results of the 2022 General election.

“Our appeal is scheduled to be heard before the court on February 1st. Do not underestimate @KariLake’s desire to get justice for the people of Arizona. It doesn’t matter how long it takes. She will see this through,” tweeted the Lake campaign.

According to the Epoch Times, her court date was initially set for March, but her trial will now be handled as a “special action petition.”

Chief Judge Kent Cattani and Presiding Judge Maria Cruz issued an order Monday accepting the jurisdiction of the case and setting the schedule. At the end of December, Lake’s attorney Bryan Blehm submitted a Petition for Special Action to the court of appeals detailing the Plaintiff’s arguments of why the superior court was incorrect in dismissing the case. The judges stated that this petition would be used as the Plaintiff’s opening brief.

The Defendants, former Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D) and Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer, have until January 17th to file their brief explaining why the lower court was correct to dismiss the case. The Plaintiffs then have until January 24th to submit another brief replying to the Defendants before the court meets in February. According to AZ Law, the order did not schedule any oral arguments for this case, but those are still an option.

When the special action petition was filed, Blehm also filed a Petition to Transfer, requesting this case skip the appeals court entirely and go directly to the Arizona Supreme Court. However, as reported by The Arizona Sun Times, Justice John Lopez shot that petition down because the Court of Appeals had also taken the case. This was not a judgment on the merits of Lake’s case.

Moreover, a poor ruling from the appeals court will likely not make the end of this legal battle. When the Arizona Supreme Court turned down Lake’s petition, she said, “I am confident the case will end up in their hands eventually,” and has also previously stated she is ready and willing to take this case all the way to the supreme court.

As for Lake’s special action petition, now opening brief, Blehm argued that the lower court erred in its ruling. He alleged that the “clear and convincing” standard of evidence enforced by the court is “not the standard that the election-contest statute requires for misconduct.”

Additionally, he stated that vacating the election results and holding a new election would not hurt anyone at this point. Plaintiffs hold to their claims that issues from election day disenfranchised voters, so if a new election were held, it would ensure that was not the case. Moreover, Blehm claimed that Hobbs’s term would continue even with a new election, so conducting a do-over would not deny the people of Arizona a functioning government.

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Neil Jones is a reporter for The Arizona Sun Times and The Star News Network. Follow Neil on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Kari Lake” by Kari Lake.