Russell Pearce's Legal Challenge on Recall Kicked to Arizona Court of Appeals

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There's been yet another development in the saga of loserdom being perpetuated by state Senate President Russell Pearce's attorney Lisa Hauser in the legal challenge to the recall.

Today the Arizona Supreme Court declined to review Hauser's appeal of Superior Court Judge Hugh Hegyi's recent decision dismissing her lawsuit.

Hauser was seeking to leap-frog the Arizona Court of Appeals and go right to the Supremes, but the Supremes said no, issuing the following order:

"The Court has received Appellant's Rule 8.1 Statement in Expedited Election Matter, filed August 15, 2011. Because pursuant to Rule 8.1(h), Arizona Rules of Civil Appellate Procedure (ARCAP), "[e]xpedited election appeals involving recalls ... shall be filed in the Court of Appeals" rather than this Court, IT IS ORDERED transferring this matter to the Arizona Court of Appeals, Division One. This Order is without prejudice to the parties filing, once the appeal is at issue, a motion to transfer the case to this Court under Rule 19, ARCAP."

The Zona Supremes may still take a whack at it, but they're letting the appeals court go first. 

The appeals court has a number of options. It could affirm Hegyi's decision, or it could overturn Hegyi's dismissal and remand the matter back to his court with instructions on how to proceed.

Moreover, as the order states, the parties can file a motion to move the whole kit and caboodle to the Supremes, once the matter is before the appeals court.

Chandler attorney Tom Ryan, who represents the recall committee Citizens for a Better Arizona, told me there will be a scheduling conference tomorrow among the parties involved. 

Although he was upbeat about the case, he noted that the order added "a layer of uncertainty" as to when the legal wrangling will finally be at an end.

Though Ryan and Hauser are private attorneys, it's worth noting that the government attorneys for both the Arizona Secretary of State and Maricopa County Elections are on the taxpayer's clock. Not to mention the various judges and court staff involved.

Which means that Pearce, Mr. Friend of the Taxpayer, is costing us all a few shekels.

But for a guy who's spent his entire life in government jobs of one form or another, this is simply par for the course.

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