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OPINION

Why Judges Won’t Rule There Was Voter Disenfranchisement When it Happens to Republicans

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin

As Arizona experiences a repeat of the 2020 election, where MAGA candidates allegedly lost to poor Democratic candidates like Katie Hobbs who refused to debate, some are turning on the MAGA candidates and blaming them instead of election fraud. The candidates’ lawsuits are predictably going nowhere, as judges throw them out for supposed “lack of evidence” or narrow technical reasons such as “lack of standing.” 

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The judges pretend that witness testimony and affidavits don’t constitute evidence, but every first year law school student learns that of the 11 sections of the traditional Rules of Evidence in law, an entire section, section 6, is devoted to witness testimony. Witness testimony throughout history has been the smoking gun in many cases; defendants have gone to the death penalty based on witness testimony alone. 

Jenna Ellis, former attorney for Donald Trump, tweeted on Friday about Kari Lake’s election contest lawsuits, “She hasn’t and won’t win any of her lawsuits. It’s just fundraising at this point (ie grifting). I was one of the first that endorsed her and supported her as a candidate, but this will set back the conservative movement for election integrity.” 

Lake’s appeal of her alleged loss to Hobbs in Arizona’s gubernatorial race is currently at the Arizona Supreme Court. While the judges were all appointed by Republican governors, no one is confident they will do the right thing. Arizona’s recent Republican governors had too many ties to the establishment, and so many of the judges they appointed have proven to be RINOs if not full-on Democrats. 

Lake’s appeal brief is one of the best in all of the election lawsuits, it should be a slam dunk especially considering there is precedent; the Arizona Supreme Court once overturned a gubernatorial election where fraud was alleged and replaced the Democrat who had been in office for months with the Republican. Judges routinely overturn elections around the country where there was voter disenfranchisement, and don’t require the excessively high standards of proof we’re seeing when Republicans lost or were disenfranchised. For example, in 2019, a judge ordered a new election for a Georgia House seat based on merely finding that four voters were ineligible.

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But judges cannot rule in favor of election integrity when it helps Republicans because they are terrified of what the left will do to them and their careers. The type of person who becomes a judge is someone who isn’t looking for the spotlight; most judges go their entire careers with very few headlines about them. If you look their names up on the internet, you can rarely find anything about them. They have relatively quiet, peaceful lives outside the public eye, and they live well with generous salaries. Arizona Supreme Court justices make $159,685. U.S. Supreme Court justices make $268,300 ($280,500 for Chief Justice John Roberts).

Many judges got their positions due to the establishment, and in order to keep those positions, they are beholden to the establishment. While the U.S. Supreme Court justices are mostly immune from this, there are other reasons that deter them. If they rule for Republicans on voter disenfranchisement, that is all they will be known for the rest of their lives; “election deniers” and “conspiracy theorists.” Their speaking engagements and book deals will dry up. A search for their names on the internet — thanks to left-wing Google and big tech’s biases — will turn up nothing but hateful MSM articles about them. 

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Judges have spent years carefully crafting reputations for themselves as erudite scholars. They don’t want to be associated with the caricatures the MSM has made of Trump supporters — low-educated buffoons. Anywhere they go, anyone they meet, will all have a preformed opinion about them, and with the exception of patriots, the reactions will be negative and follow them around the rest of their lives. 

Former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman is now in that position after being employed by Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos to investigate the results of the 2020 presidential election in Wisconsin. As a result of the backlash from the left, Vos ended up firing him and Gableman now has three ethics complaints against him. 

The left will try to cancel, dox and harass them. We saw how the left protested at Supreme Court justices’ homes after their opinion was leaked reversing Roe v. Wade. Progressives posted maps online with their home addresses. Harvard Law School instructor Alejandra Caraballo tweeted that the justices should be harassed in public, citing Sen. Ted Cruz being harassed at a restaurant as an example of how it should be done. The left will urge businesses to cancel the justices, making it difficult for them to merely get by. 

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Judges have families to support; they’re often the sole breadwinner, married with children. 

While it’s difficult to remove some judges, removing others is far easier. In Arizona, most Superior Court judges are appointed by the governor, then they run for election to retain their seats. Since they never had a bruising initial race, no one knows anything about them and their retention races are usually a shoe-in. Same with the Arizona Supreme Court and Arizona Court of Appeals justices. 

However, that may be changing, as three superior court judges lost their retention races last fall, unprecedented in Maricopa County. This shows that Arizona Supreme Court justices are quite vulnerable if the left launches a campaign to defeat them for being election deniers.  

One U.S. Supreme Court justice has been impeached, but the Senate acquitted him. That was Associate Justice Samuel Chase in 1804, who President Thomas Jefferson and his Republican allies in Congress believed acted in a partisan manner during several trials. While the GOP currently controls the House, that could change and Democrats love to dredge up prior events to go after Republicans. 

Ellis realizes all this and sadly, may become a target herself. The Orwellian 65 Project filed an ethics complaint against her, and the Colorado Attorney Regulation Counsel is considering whether to go forward.  

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