Stein Campaign Forced into Plan C—or Maybe D?—After Federal Judge Ends Michigan Recount

Brendan O'Connor 09/05/2017. 24 comments
Jill Goddamn Stein Green Party Michigan Donald Trump Election 2016 Recount

Late on Wednesday night, the federal judge in Michigan whose emergency order set a statewide recount into motion earlier this week lifted that order, in deference to the state court of appeals, effectively ending the recount and confirming Donald Trump’s victory there over Hillary Clinton.

The Green Party has petitioned for recounts in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania—an effort in which they have been joined by the Clinton campaign, and which the Trump campaign has filed suit to stop . Even with a recount, Trump’s lawyers argue, Jill Stein would have no chance of winning these states, and as such is not an “aggrieved” candidate. Therefore, she does not have standing to demand a recount in the first place.

On Wednesday, the Michigan court of appeals agreed, and U.S. District Judge Mark Goldsmith deferred to their judgement. “Because there is no basis for this court to ignore the Michigan court’s ruling and make an independent judgment regarding what the Michigan Legislature intended by the term ‘aggrieved,’ plaintiffs have not shown an entitlement to a recount,” Goldsmith, whose midnight ruling on Monday allowed the recount to proceed, said.

“Jill Stein, who received only 1.07% of the vote in Michigan, is not legally entitled to hijack the will of voters and drag them into an arduous and expensive publicity stunt,” State Republican Party Chairman Ronna Romney McDaniel—yes, she is one of those Romneys—said in a statement. “Jill Stein’s 1% temper tantrum cost Michigan taxpayers millions of dollars and would have cost them additional millions of dollars if not for the actions of President-Elect Trump, the Michigan Republican Party, and Attorney General Bill Schuette.”

The Stein campaign intends to appeal the ruling to Michigan’s State Supreme Court. “Backed by Michigan Republicans, Donald Trump—who himself has repeatedly alleged widespread voter fraud and a “rigged election”—suddenly sees no need for a routine verification of the democratic process in Michigan,” Hayley Horowitz and Jessica Clarke, the Stein campaign’s lead lawyers in Michigan, said in a statement. “His efforts to suppress the vote count is a stunning about-face, even by Trump’s own standards.”

“Our campaign will seek immediate relief in Michigan’s Supreme Court to ensure the recount that is already underway in all Michigan counties continues. With so many irregularities in Michigan—including more than 75,000 under-votes, many in urban areas, and widespread carelessness, and perhaps interference, with preserving ballots—there is a real possibility the rights of voters in Michigan may have been suppressed during this election.”

The campaign has also asked two Michigan Supreme Court justices—Chief Justice Robert Young Jr. and Justice Joan Larsen—to recuse themselves. Trump has mentioned both as potential nominees to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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