As the largest election recount in state history got under way across Michigan this afternoon, the state Republican Party sought to stop the counting by appealing a ruling issued earlier today by a Detroit federal judge. U.S. District Judge Mark Goldsmith got the recount started after a rare Sunday court hearing, granting Green Party candidate Jill Stein’s request for the hand recounting of about 4.8 million ballots starting today , instead of waiting until Wednesday as called for under Michigan law. The Michigan Republican Party, through its attorney Gary Gordon of Lansing, filed notice this afternoon it plans to file an appeal of Goldsmith’s ruling with the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati. Despite the appeal notice, the recount continues unless Goldsmith’s order is stayed or overturned.
“This is a Michigan issue, and should be handled by the Michigan court system,” Michigan Republican Party Chairman Ronna Romney McDaniel said in a news release. “Michigan courts should decide Michigan election law.”
McDaniel said the appeal, which had not yet been filed, would focus on the idea that federal courts should generally stay out of state disputes, and the argument that Stein waited too long to file her recount request.
Gordon had argued Stein had no chance of overturning the election results — Stein finished a distant 4th in Michigan to Republican president-elect Donald Trump — her concerns about votes not being counted properly were merely speculative, and the recount would result in excessive costs for Michigan taxpayers. Also, the state has a valid interest in a two-business-day pause after ruling on an objection to a recount petition, because it allows for court review of that recount decision, Gordon argued before Goldsmith.