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Jill Stein’s Pennsylvania Recount Headed to Federal Court

Jill Stein’s Pennsylvania Recount Headed to Federal Court

“The people deserve answers.”

On Saturday night it was announced that the Green Party had dropped its recount efforts in Pennsylvania.

CBS News in Pittsburgh reported:

Green Party Drops Statewide Pennsylvania Recount

Green Party-backed voters dropped a court case Saturday night that had sought to force a statewide recount of Pennsylvania’s Nov. 8 presidential election, won by Republican Donald Trump, in what Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein had framed as an effort to explore whether voting machines and systems had been hacked and the election result manipulated.

The decision came two days before a court hearing was scheduled in the case. Saturday’s court filing to withdraw the case said the Green Party-backed voters who filed the case “are regular citizens of ordinary means” and cannot afford the $1 million bond ordered by the court by 5 p.m. Monday. However, Green Party-backed efforts to force recounts and analyze election software in scattered precincts were continuing.

You might think that would be the end of this clown show, but no. Stein has vowed to keep going:

That’s just super, Jill.

What she means by that is that the challenge is headed to a federal court. Newsworks reports:

Stein drops first challenge to presidential vote in Pennsylvania, moving to federal court

Attorneys for Green Party candidate Jill Stein Saturday suddenly withdrew their statewide challenge to Pennsylvania’s presidential vote, citing a $1 million bond required by the court to proceed. They say they’ll take the case to federal court Monday.

“The judge’s outrageous demand that voters pay such an exorbitant figure is a shameful, unacceptable barrier to democratic participation,” Stein said in a statement Saturday night. “This is yet another sign that Pennsylvania’s antiquated election law is stacked against voters.”..

Make no mistake — the Stein campaign will continue to fight for a statewide recount in Pennsylvania. We are committed to this fight to protect the civil and voting rights of all Americans,” Abady said. “Over the past several days, it has become clear that the barriers to verifying the vote in Pennsylvania are so pervasive and that the state court system is so ill-equipped to address this problem that we must seek federal court intervention. As a result, on Monday the Stein campaign will escalate our campaign in Pennsylvania and file for emergency relief in federal court, demanding a statewide recount on constitutional grounds.”

The campaign filed a formal contest to the presidential result in Commonwealth Court last Monday, the first ever in Pennsylvania.

It was an uphill battle from the beginning. The campaign asked the court to order a full recount and a forensic audit of the state’s voting software, arguing cyber-hacking could have altered the results. But the campaign’s filings offered no evidence that any tampering had occurred in Pennsylvania.

Ed Morrissey of Hot Air offers this response:

Yeah, well, good luck with that. The Stein campaign has to prove that asking a fourth-place fringe candidate to post a significant bond for covering the cost of a statewide recount after getting less than one percent of the vote is not just unreasonable but unconstitutional.

The state has the authority to set the terms of recounts, so a federal judge will be reluctant to order a state to conduct one in general, but perhaps especially so for a plaintiff thus situated. Plus, with the safe-harbor date of the Electoral College fast approaching, the court is going to give serious consideration to the risks of ordering a state into a situation which runs a large risk of disenfranchising all of its voters in a presidential election.

Stein says “the people deserve answers,” but it’s an answer to a question that only she’s asking.

This is about political theater, fundraising, and an attempt to de-legitimize Trump.


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Why doesn’t the PA state legislature just step in and vote to send the Trump electors per its right under the US Constitution as re-affirmed by Bush v Gore?

    Because that would nullify the votes of all residents of that state? You’d think they want that to be a last resort.

    Having said that, I find it rather weird that Stein is suing on constitutional grounds. Isn’t the constitution itself the greatest barrier to the federal government interfering with a state’s selection of electors?

    Milhouse in reply to Perry. | December 5, 2016 at 4:36 pm

    The governor would veto it.

    Milhouse in reply to Perry. | December 5, 2016 at 4:49 pm

    Also, if they change the rules after the election they lose the safe harbor and Congress might not count the electors’ votes.

Yes, Jill. The people deserve answers. So please, answer this – what exactly were you thinking when you decided to scam $7 million for a recount you knew would go nowhere?

    oldav8r in reply to IrateNate. | December 4, 2016 at 10:18 am

    ….and then try to claim that “the people” don’t have$1M for the required bond? You and your tiny little cult party lost, big. You were never relevant to the political landscape so stop this charade. Go home.

I believe 3 U.S.C. Art 5 controls. If the recount is not finished and certified by 12/13, the original count stands.

With no expertise in election law, I say:
A plaintiff commencing litigation in one jurisdiction, with the opposition appearing in court and the court becoming engaged in the litigation, followed by the plaintiff voluntarily dismissing that litigation and beginning a new case on the same subject in a different jurisdiction, does not usually bode well for the plaintiff. (That comment is premised on the maybe-fanciful notion that the new judge is honest.)
The second lawsuit is additionally suspect if, like must be the case here, it is premised even in part on an argument that the first lawsuit would be unsuccessful.

The definition of ‘sweet’: the Greens demand a recount, and voting fraud is uncovered…committed by the Dimocrats.

Actually Trump is suing in Wisconsin in federal corut all ready, based on equal protectioin.

Last I heard it Trump gained 12 votes in Wisconsin.

DieJustAsHappy | December 4, 2016 at 11:32 am

As an aside, between Team Trump’s pedal-to-the-metal and Jill Stein’s cha-cha-cha, guess who is getting marginalized in his last (oh, how I’ve longed to use this phrase!) full month in office.

I wish I had the gift to produce a vid entitled “I Won’t Be Missing You” to the tune of “I’ll Be Missing You”!!

liberalinsight | December 4, 2016 at 12:36 pm

She thinks she has a complaint, she is asking the federal courts system for a hearing.
Who in their right mind would argue that any complaint is baseless without hearing that complaint in a court of law? And who is that person who decides, and on what information?

    “She thinks she has a complaint…”

    No she doesn’t. Your only complaint is you lost, in spite of the illegal votes you employ to steal elections.

    Your silly name reminds me of a target…

    So you agree SCOTUS was wrong in refusing to hear the case about California’s constitutional amendment defining marriage?

      liberalinsight in reply to malclave. | December 5, 2016 at 10:42 am

      The supreme court only hears appeals, so every case it has ever heard has already been argued, at least once.

        So much for “liberal insight.” Thanks for demonstrating that combination of words is an oxymoron.

        No, Einstein, the Supreme Court doesn’t just hear appeals. The Supreme Court also has original jurisdiction in certain types of cases.

          liberalinsight in reply to Arminius. | December 6, 2016 at 12:44 am

          Google search “what cases can the supreme court hear?”
          The Supreme Court hears three types of cases:
          2/3 are cases appealed from lower federal courts.
          1/3 are cases appealed from state supreme courts.
          Rarely, they hear cases that have not been previously heard by a lower court, such as between one state’s government and another.

          I am calling this a draw.

“The people deserve answers”

Stop speaking for us. You don’t represent us. You are just using us as a shield to promote your own interests.

VladimirPutin | December 4, 2016 at 1:03 pm

If a real candidate wanted a recount for a legitimate reason, they would easily be able to come up with whatever amount of money required. If anything, this shows that the fees are too low, if a fringe candidate could raise enough for a frivilous recount.

I hope her lower sphincter grows together.

Technically, I am not sure if Dr. Stein has standing to file a actin in United States District Court. To file an action, the plaintiff must seek relief from an actual controversy. A recount of votes will in no way result in her winning PA.

Also having once starting an action in State Court and having admittedly having failed to meet the Court’s requirements, Dr. Stein may be precluded from seeking relief in United States District court under the doctrine of res-judica.

Finally, it is not clear if the District Court has jurisdiction. The selection of electors are a plenary power of the State Legislature. USC 2 § 5 vests the resolution of controversies to the State alone. That limits the US Courts jurisdiction to just US Constitutional issues.

Likely these points will be diligently pled by interested parties. We will see what the Courts do.

    puhiawa in reply to sidebar. | December 4, 2016 at 4:24 pm

    Additionally, she walks into a Federal Court with a very tenuous claim of jurisdiction procedurally. She DISMISSED her lower court Petition rather than do a direct appeal to the Penn. Supreme Court. All States have an expedited elections appellate procedure in place.She would have had the results of that appeal by Tuesday next. Hence the issue is not ripe for a Federal Appeal on Constitutional grounds.

      legalbeagle in reply to puhiawa. | December 4, 2016 at 5:00 pm

      I am not up on Civil Procedure in Pennsylvania or its election law procedures. Can a Plaintiff, once the action has been joined and a hearing scheduled, dismiss its own action without making a Motion to the Court?

holdingmynose | December 4, 2016 at 2:57 pm

If they find a “friendly” (read activist LibDem) Federal judge the Dec 19 deadline for reporting electoral votes may mean nothing. It was ignored in 2000 until SCOTUS put a stop to AlGore’s circus.

What evidence does she have?