On Tuesday evening the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion stating that Federal Judge Mark Goldsmith, who issued a ruling that approved the Michigan recount initiative to begin on Monday, came to a conclusion that the recount should not have been allowed to proceed. At first, the court determined that Judge Goldsmith overstepped his authority by accelerating the Michigan recount, mandating that it start on Monday rather than Wednesday. This opinion did not last, however, as moments ago the appeals court changed their decision and decided that Judge Goldsmith “did not abuse discretion”.
As the Detroit Free Press reports, the Republican challenge to the recount effort seems to have failed, but their was hope as the court determined that if subsequent Michigan courts find that the recount is improper under state law for whatever reason, district courts may be able to overturn their ruling tonight.
A federal appeals court upheld the Michigan recount that’s been under way since Monday in an opinion issued late Tuesday, just moments before a state appeals court issued an opinion saying the recount should never have been allowed to begin.
The dueling appellate opinions appear to set up further proceedings before U.S. District Judge Mark Goldsmith, who ordered the recount to begin Monday, two days before state officials had scheduled it to start.
In a legal blow to the Michigan Republican Party, the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals refused to stop Michigan’s historic presidential election recount, which got under way 24 hours ago following a midnight order from Goldsmith.
In a 2-1 opinion, the 6th Circuit said Goldsmith “did not abuse (his) discretion” in ruling that the start of the recount should be accelerated to Monday, from a planned start date of Wednesday.
But the ruling also contained a glimmer of hope for state Republicans wanting to stop the recount.
In affirming the judge’s order, the 6th Circuit said: “If subsequently, the Michigan courts determine the … recount is improper under Michigan state law for any reason, we expect the district court to entertain any properly filed motions to dissolve or modify this order in this case.”
Minutes after the 6th Circuit issued that opinion, the Michigan Court of Appeals released a 3-0 opinion, following a hearing Tuesday afternoon, saying the state Board of Canvassers never should have allowed the recount to proceed because Green Party candidate Jill Stein — who received just over 1% of the vote — did not qualify as an “aggrieved candidate” under state law.
The Michigan Republican Party will be filing a motion tonight with Judge Goldsmith to dissolve his order, said Sarah Anderson, spokeswoman for the party.
“Our understanding is that 6th circuit upheld Judge Goldsmith’s ruling, but also said that … if Michigan courts determine that the recount is improper that he should entertain a properly filed motion to dissolve the order,” she said. “We’ll be making that motion and expect that recount will be stopped.”
John Pirich, an attorney for Trump, said at first blush, the state Court of Appeals came to the same conclusion that the Trump campaign did: “that Jill Stein is not an aggrieved party and has no chance of winning.”
But Mark Brewer, an attorney for Stein, said the Court of Appeals refused to stay the request to stop the recount, so it will continue until all the parties can get back to federal court to plead their case, again, before Goldsmith.
The court document in its entirety can be viewed here.
Although for now it seems the state of Michigan will be forced to expend massive tax payer resources in performing a recount for Jill Stein, a candidate who has no chance of changing her outcome in the election, current recount efforts in Wisconsin seem to be working in Trump’s favor as thus far he has gained 105 votes while Clinton has dropped by 41 votes.
Nothing like winning a battleground state twice, which polls said Donald Trump had no chance of victory in these states in the first.