If you weren’t aware, Arizona’s Maricopa County, and in particular, its Board of Supervisors, is facing no small number of lawsuits over its alleged action and, in some cases, inaction during the 2022 midterm elections. And one of those just ended in a serious payout.
The suit began shortly after the midterm elections, during which time Gateway Pundit reporter Jordan Conradson tried to gain access to the election process. To be clear, Conradson went through all the right and legal channels. He applied for a press pass to simply report on the election.
But Maricopa County’s Board of Supervisors denied him the pass.
And according to a number of court officials, the reason for the denial was that voting officials didn’t like Conradson’s political views.
In December, the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals sided with Conradson, saying that a “restriction on speech is unconstitutional if it is ‘an effort to suppress expression merely because public officials oppose the speaker’s view.’”
Just as it is important for people with a left-leaning perspective to be heard and have their viewpoints expressed, those with conservative views like Conradson deserve the same. And judges of the 9th Circuit Court agreed.
Of course, the County said its denial of Conradson’s pass was due to failing neutral criteria. However, when evidence brought before the court, even some presented by the County itself, strongly suggested the opposite, it was hard to deny that Conradson’s press pass denial was unbiased.
As the court said, “That type of viewpoint-based discrimination is exactly what the First Amendment protects against.”
All of this resulted in a preliminary injunction against the County.
In January, the court heard oral arguments, during which the judges also seemed to be rather critical of the County’s treatment of Conradson.
As one judge, and one that Democratic President Joe Biden appointed, said, “It can’t be right that you get to dictate who they talk to, how they go about gathering the news. That can’t be right.”
Needless to say, these opinions, combined with the ones stated in December, weren’t adding up to a good end result for the County.
And so, the County has decided to settle out of court.
On Wednesday, the County’s Board of Supervisors voted to settle, agreeing to pay $175,000 to Conradson and TGP Communications, the Gateway Pundit’s parent company. Finally, a little bit of justice prevailed.
Of course, as Terri Jo Neff of the Independent recently wrote, it’s likely that an even more “scathing” official ruling was just avoided by the settlement, given the critical comments made by the judges.
But in any case, the County was held at least somewhat accountable. And hopefully, other similar lawsuits will now see justice served as well.