Court Sanctions Election Deniers and Dismisses Challenge to Arizona’s 2022 Election Results

WASHINGTON, D.C. — An Arizona judge has dismissed yet another legal challenge to the state’s 2022 election results, this time issuing sanctions and calling the challenge “meritless” and “bad faith.”

The order issued today dismisses a pair of lawsuits brought by right-wing lawyer Ryan Heath on behalf of failed Republican Arizona attorney general candidate Abraham Hamadeh, Cochise County Supervisor Tom Crosby (R) and “Independent” voter David Mast seeking to decertify the results of the 2022 general election in Arizona. 

The lawsuits, both brought in the final months of 2023, asked the court to remove current Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes (D) from office and decertify four 2022 races: governor, attorney general and Propositions 308 and 309. Today, the court denied these fringe requests holding that the plaintiffs lacked the ability to bring their lawsuit and that they brought the lawsuit far after the time frame Arizona law allows election contests to be filed. 

In addition to dismissing the case, the court also ordered sanctions for both Hamadeh and Heath. The court concluded that “a preponderance of the evidence demonstrates the existence of bad faith in the filing of this “election challenge.” The court further explained that although the petitioners did not call their lawsuit an election challenge and attempted to paint their lawsuit as a challenge to Mayes’ legal right to hold her office, rather than contesting the results themselves, this “did not change the fact that it was an elections challenge that had already been lost.” 

The court further concluded that Hamadeh and his attorney’s conduct warranted sanctions as they “had the necessary facts and controlling case law available to them but nevertheless elected to pursue a meritless challenge.” The court also granted Maricopa County’s request to seek sanctions against Crosby and Mast.

This is not the first time the failed attorney general candidate has been sanctioned by a court. Last August, Hamadeh and the Republican National Committee were sanctioned for their conduct in a different lawsuit contesting the results of the 2022 attorney general election. Fellow election deniers Kari Lake (R) and Mark Finchem (R) — who lost their respective races for governor and secretary of state — were also sanctioned for falsely representing facts to the court and peddling bad faith claims. Today’s order is the latest in a flurry of court actions that hold lawyers and parties who attempted to overturn valid election results accountable.  

Read the order here.

Learn more about the case here.