(JustPatriots.com)- Oral arguments in the challenge by Arizona Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake will start early next week.
The judge who is overseeing the case made that announcement during a hearing earlier this week. Lake, who lost the general election to Democrat Katie Hobbs, filed a lawsuit that alleges various issues in the state election, specifically in Maricopa County.
Her suit, which was filed last Friday, names three people and one group as defendants — Hobbs, who is the governor-elect and current secretary of state of Arizona; Scott Jarrett, the county’s director of elections; the county Board of Supervisors; and Stephen Richer, the county recorder.
All of those people were ordered to make an appearance at the Superior Court of Arizona in Maricopa County. Lake didn’t attend the hearing in person, but rather via videoconference along with her attorney. The defendants also didn’t appear in person, and their legal representation appeared via videoconference as well.
All defendants have to file a unified response by this Saturday at noon. The judge set a reply deadline of 5 p.m. Sunday, with oral arguments in the case set to begin in the morning on Monday.
During oral arguments, each side will have an hour to make their case. The judge will then decide after those arguments whether the case will proceed or whether it will be dismissed.
If the case proceeds, it will be held for two days — on December 21 and December 22 — and would expect to last the entirety of those two days. Defendants and the plaintiff in the case would have an equal amount of time to argue on those two days of trial.
Part of the conundrum of the case is that it involves a lot of voter information. During Tuesday’s hearing, the judge decided that that information would be sealed from the public to protect the privacy of the voters.
The defendants in the case said that the voters’ information wasn’t redacted, so it needed to be sealed. Counsel for Lake, though, tried to argue that the information should be made public, since all the personally identifiable information was indeed redacted from what was filed.
Attorneys for both Hobbs and Maricopa County have already filed briefs asking for the judge in the case to dismiss the case. They claim in their filings that Lake’s lawsuit doesn’t argue any real facts, instead containing only unwarranted speculation.
Lake’s lawsuit contends that she indeed won the election, and only was declared the loser due to issues with signature verification, lines on Election Day and issues with voting equipment. All of this, she said disenfranchised voters in Arizona.
The Maricopa County attorneys wrote in their dismissal brief that Lake’s lawsuit doesn’t prove that she would be entitled to the number of votes that would be needed to change the election’s outcome, which is in excess of 17,000.
In fact, the lawyers claim Lake doesn’t even show evidence that even one vote was cast illegally.