Alan Dershowitz and other counsel for failed Arizona Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake were sanctioned for making false and unsupported assertions in a lawsuit seeking to change the state’s voting mechanisms ahead of the 2022 election.
Judge John J. Tuchi of the US District Court for the District of Arizona granted a Rule 11 sanctions request by Maricopa County, which argued that Lake’s claims were “unfounded, asserted without a reasonable inquiry, and asserted for an improper purpose.” Lake and Arizona House Member Mark Finchem (R) filed suit in April, seeking to prohibit the use of electronic voting machines in Arizona’s 2022 midterm election, which was held Nov. 8.
In addition to Dershowitz of Alan Dershowitz Consulting LLC, Lake is represented by Parker Daniels Kibort LLC and Olsen Law PC.
Tuchi said that Lake’s claims in support of the notion that the electronic voting machines certified for use in Arizona are “potentially unsecure” were “false, misleading, and unsupported,” and that they warrant sanctions under Rule 11 and 28 U.S.C. § 1927. The court further said the “claims for relief did not have an adequate factual or legal basis grounded in a reasonable pre-filing inquiry.”
Lake’s counsel also acted at least recklessly in prolonging the proceedings by seeking a preliminary injunction based on the frivolous claims, Tuchi wrote Thursday.
The sanctions make clear that the court won’t condone litigants “furthering false narratives that baselessly undermine public trust at a time of increasing disinformation about, and distrust in, the democratic process,” Tuchi said.
The court ordered Lake’s counsel to pay Maricopa County defendants’ reasonable attorneys’ fees.
Counsel for Lake didn’t immediately return Bloomberg Law’s request for comment Friday.
The case is Lake v. Hobbs, D. Ariz., No. 2:22-cv-00677, 12/1/22.