A Michigan court and a federal court of appeals on Tuesday issued dueling orders on Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein’s recount push in the state. The dueling ruling resulted in Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette taking the recount case back to U.S. District Court Judge Mark Goldsmith, who on Monday issued an order that started the recount on that day at noon. On Tuesday evening the Michigan Court of Appeals directed the state’s Board of Canvassers to deny a recount petition by Stein. Meanwhile, in an order issued Tuesday evening, the 6th Circuit panel split, 2-1, along partisan lines in declining to temporarily lift the order that required the recount to begin by noon Monday in order to meet a target next week for states to name Electoral College electors. The Michigan Republican Party and Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette had both asked the appeals court to step in.
“If the recount could not be completed by the federal deadline, the right to a recount provided under Michigan law would have been effectively worthless. Facing the potential that Plaintiffs’ state recount right may have been deprived entirely by the waiting period law, we cannot say that the district court abused its discretion in determining that Plaintiffs would suffer irreparable harm without a TRO,” said the court’s order, joined by Judges Eric Clay and Bernice Donald.
“This is a severe burden, and requires us to closely scrutinize the justifications put forward for the waiting period. As the district court correctly recognized, the justification put forward by Defendants—that the waiting period allows for judicial review before the state spends resources on a recount—is simply not compelling enough to justify de facto nullifying Plaintiffs’ right to invoke the recount procedures afforded them under Michigan law,” the court’s majority said.
As a result both Stein’s campaign and the Schuette’s office released statements hailing one of the rulings.