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Against the Wishes of Justices Thomas and Alito, SCOTUS Rejects Arizona GOP Chair Kelli Ward’s Bid to Block Jan. 6 Committee Subpoena for Phone Records


Arizona Republican Party Chair Kelli Ward speaks at a rally for Donald Trump in Arizona. (screenshot from Fox Phoenix affiliate KSAZ-TV YouTube)

The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected a request from Arizona Republican Party Chair Kelli Ward and her husband to halt a Jan. 6 Committee’s subpoena seeking the couple’s phone records.

The application for stay and injunction was rejected by Justice Elena Kagan, according to an order issued Monday. The order says Justice Clarence Thomas and Justice Samuel Alito “would grant the application for stay and injunction.”

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit rejected Ward’s stay request 2-1. T-Mobile USA notified the court on Oct. 28 that it would not being responding to the emergency application “because it takes no position on the Application.”

Ward’s 25-page application, which includes approximately 60 pages of exhibits, cited U.S. Circuit Judge Sandra Segal Ikuta’s 10-page dissent and warned that the committee’s request for Ward’s phone and text message records was too broad.

“If Dr. Ward’s telephone and text message records are disclosed, congressional investigators are going to contact every person who communicated with her during and immediately after the tumult of the 2020 election. That is not speculation, it is a certainty. There is no other reason for the Committee to seek this information,” according to the filing.

The Jan. 6 Committee opposed Ward’s application, arguing she and her husband “have raised no legal issue of continuing broad significance.”

“Dr. Ward’s insistence that this Court take the highly unusual step of becoming involved now on an emergency basis is deeply flawed both because the rulings by the courts below are correct and because there is no legal issue warranting this Court’s action,” according to the 38-page, Oct. 28 filing.

The committee issued the subpoena in January, seeking records of phone calls and text messages as well as IP addresses with which Ward communicated in the weeks after the 2020 election. At the time, Ward was ready to serve as a so-called alternate elector, among a slate of fake electors aiming to give their states’ votes to then-President Donald Trump even if their state’s vote tally favored Joe Biden.

“That Dr. Ward was not present at the U.S. Capitol on January 6th is of no moment. She coordinated with President Trump and his allies to pressure local and state officials in Arizona to alter the ballot tallies,” according to the committee’s opposition. “She and other fake electors convened, voted, and transmitted fake electoral votes for President Trump, creating what she claimed was a challenge sufficient to justify throwing out the valid electoral votes from Arizona on January 6th.”

Monday’s order states, “The application for stay and injunction presented to Justice Kagan and by her referred to the Court is denied.”

“The order theretofore entered by Justice Kagan is vacated,” it reads.

[Image: screenshot from Fox Phoenix affiliate KSAZ-TV YouTube]

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A graduate of the University of Oregon, Meghann worked at The Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Washington, and the Idaho Statesman in Boise, Idaho, before moving to California in 2013 to work at the Orange County Register. She spent four years as a litigation reporter for the Los Angeles Daily Journal and one year as a California-based editor and reporter for and associated publications such as The National Law Journal and New York Law Journal before joining Law & Crime News. Meghann has written for The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, Los Angeles Magazine, Bloomberg Law, ABA Journal, The Forward, Los Angeles Business Journal and the Laguna Beach Independent. Her Twitter coverage of federal court hearings in a lawsuit over homelessness in Los Angeles placed 1st in the Los Angeles Press Club's Southern California Journalism Awards for Best Use of Social Media by an Independent Journalist in 2021. An article she freelanced for Los Angeles Times Community News about a debate among federal judges regarding the safety of jury trials during COVID also placed 1st in the Orange County Press Club Awards for Best Pandemic News Story in 2021.