Attorney Files Lawsuit Against Judge Who Dismissed Kari Lake’s Election Contest

Ryan Heath, an attorney who started The Gavel Project to engage in lawfare against woke ideology, has filed suit against the judge who dismissed Kari Lake’s election lawsuit. Submitted on Monday, the writ of mandamus demands that Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson vacate his ruling and award the election to Lake.

Heath told The Arizona Sun Times he doesn’t really know where Thompson came up with the high bar he required Lake’s attorneys to prove in order to overturn the election. Thompson required showing by clear and convincing evidence that the misconduct was intentional and meant to change the election, was performed by one of the appropriate people in charge, and that it changed the election.

Heath said this was the wrong standard. He added the judge should have relied on Reyes v. Cuming, a 1997 Arizona case involving similar circumstances, where signatures on the envelopes were not compared to the voter registration list, which violated a non-technical statute.

Heath’s writ of mandamus, which is a type of lawsuit seeking to order a public official to do their job, focused on the problems with signature verification. He reviewed the minimal amount of time signature verification workers were given to compare signatures on each ballot envelope with the signatures in the system. He argued that “it was physically and mathematically impossible for them to have engaged in the statutorily mandated task of verifying signatures.”

He said it would take 30 seconds to verify a signature, but the signatures were verified at a rate of one in less than a second — 0.975 seconds.

He declared, “[I]t is physically impossible for human beings to pull off any meaningful comparison with any reasonable accuracy.”

Heath included testimony from signature verification workers who reported rejection rates in the 25 to 40 percent range. One of those workers reported that instead of curing those mismatched signatures as required by A.R.S. 16-550(A), about 90 percent of them were approved anyway. Reviewers were allowed to put stickers on ballots showing they were approved with no oversight; there was no record of who placed the sticker on them.

That statute was also implicated in Reyes. Although the trial court in Reyes brushed off the statutory violations, allowing one of the candidates, Yuma County Supervisor Republican incumbent Clyde Cuming, to remain in office, the Arizona Court of Appeals reversed that decision and placed his Democratic opponent Marco Reyes in office a year later. The court stated that the “non-technical” statutes advance the constitutional goal of “setting forth procedural safeguards to prevent undue influence, fraud, ballot tampering, and voter intimidation.” The court added, “election statutes are mandatory, not ‘advisory,’ or else they would not be law at all.”

The court went on, the “purpose of A.R.S. 16-550(A) is to prevent the inclusion of invalid votes. … [t]o rule otherwise would ‘affect the result or at least render it uncertain.’” The opinion cited Miller v. Picacho Elementary School District No. 33, “Miller established that an election contestant need only show that absentee ballots counted in violation of a non-technical statute changed the outcome of the election [or rendered it ‘uncertain’]; actual fraud is not a necessary element.”

Heath noted that gubernatorial winner Katie Hobbs’ margin of victory over Lake was only 0.668982 percent, which was very similar to the margin of difference in Reyes, 0.62179 percent. In races that close, the results have often been overturned due to voter disenfranchisement, voter fraud, or other reasons.

He noted how Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer testified that “Maricopa County’s MCTEC [Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center] facility ‘received 120,000 more early ballot drop-offs on election night than the office had ever seen before.’”

Richards admitted that the number of ballots dropped off at MCTEC was not actually counted; there was merely an estimate made. Heath said there is “a large discrepancy between, on the one hand, the total number of mail-in ballot packets submitted by Maricopa County electors on Election Day that were physically processed at MCTEC and, on the other hand, the total number of mail-in ballot packets purportedly received by Runbeck.”

The lawsuit also cited violations of the U.S. and Arizona constitutions. The election violated the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment Equal Protection Clause since “all persons similarly situated should be treated alike.” The Arizona Constitution has a similar clause, including the Privileges and Immunities Clause. It states that “no law shall be enacted granting to any citizen, class of citizens, or corporation other than municipal, privileges or immunities which, upon the same terms, shall not equally belong to all citizens or corporations.”

Additionally, Article II Section 1 of the Arizona Constitution provides that “[a]ll elections shall be free and equal.” Heath contends that the Equal Protection Clause was violated due to improper counting of many of the mail-in ballots. He cited Chavez v. Brewer, which held that “Arizona’s constitutional right to a ‘free and equal’ election is implicated when votes are not properly counted,” and ruled that one need only “establish that a significant number of votes cast [in the challenged manner] will not be properly recorded or counted.”

This level of violation necessitates strict scrutiny by the court, Heath argued, citing various case laws. The government can only overcome that scrutiny by showing no other viable options for signature verification, which “is simply an impossible burden for Maricopa County to meet.” There were many other ways the county could have verified the signatures accurately.

Heath asked for an order removing Hobbs from office and requiring Thompson to vacate his decision. He gave the court multiple options for determining the outcome of the election, either by invalidating some of the dubious ballots or calling for a new election. He demanded that Maricopa County officials personally pay for any new election as punitive damages.

This isn’t the first time Heath has sued a judge. He filed a lawsuit against Maryland Circuit Court Judge Robert Kershaw over his role in dealing with a transgender teenager who ended up gang raped. Heath’s Gavel Project crowdfunds attorneys around the country to “fight unethical government and employer mandates and protect the freedom of Americans, especially children.” He has been heavily active in stopping mask mandates on children. As a result of his work, opponents have filed six bar complaints against him. The California State Bar sent him a cease and desist letter telling him to stop speaking out against mask mandates at school board meetings, but he responded to them with his own cease and desist letter.

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Rachel Alexander is a reporter at The Arizona Sun Times and The Star News NetworkFollow Rachel on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Ryan Heath” by Ryan Heath. 



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15 Thoughts to “Attorney Files Lawsuit Against Judge Who Dismissed Kari Lake’s Election Contest”

  1. […] due to the risk of being disbarred by left-wing dominated state bars, Heath jumped right in and sued the judge who dismissed Kari Lake's election contest with a writ of mandamus. He demanded that […]

  2. Moderate me commies

    We need more Ryan Heaths.. Wtf Arizona how the hell did y’all allow this theft to happen.? We all knew what the commies would do and still no one prepared for it..
    i some times think conservatives are allergic to winning..

    Most judges are corrupt that’s the number one problem in America Legislating from the bench instead of doing their jobs.. Where are the statesmen and women nowadays..!??

  3. Luz Maria Rodriguez

    Excellent. There are too many damn misfeasant judges ruining citizens’ lives.
    Gee, I wonder for whom the turkey voted. He probably also donated to the dimwit Hobbs.

  4. stpaulchuck

    now have him in judicial review for incompetence, misfeasance or malfeasance, either way off the bench

  5. Noneya

    These Compromised Judges will do nothing but double down on their malfeasance.

  6. John Walters

    Was always wondering how to say BS in spanish…I now know. Thanx….

  7. John Walters

    Keep at it…People like these are sorely needed, unfortunately…I am in GA, wish we had one here.

  8. JohnB

    Wow, courageous heroism! Thank you Ryan Heath, you are inspiring!

  9. Curmudgeon

    LOL. They could have video of an election worker filling out ballots then running them through a tabulator and it would have made no difference in the ruling. The system is fixed. End machine AND centralized counting. Extreme limitation on not-in-person voting; verifiable documentation of eligibility; more voting locations with smaller polling districts; hand counting at those smaller polls; and scrutineers/observers having full access to ballots at the time of counting is the only way to go.

    1. Cool Hand Luke

      You are 100% correct. In addition to many other problems, the use of electronic voting machines connected to the internet should not be allowed at all.
      There is no valid reason for that at all.
      When the 2020 election was stolen, the powers that be said “wait until 2022.” 2022 election has come and gone and elections are still being stolen. Now they say “wait until 2024!”
      By that time the US will be in the ash heap of history.

  10. Rachel Shaw

    Thank you for standing up for disenfranchised voters! Sick of the corruption on ALL levels. It’s disgusting!

  11. Ron

    Tell the truth, shame the Devil.

  12. BTeboe

    This judge had an agenda by throwing out all but 2 of Lake’s charges and then made up some caca del toro in order to dismiss the case.

  13. Mike B

    Beast! Love this guy, a lion!