UPDATE (by WAJ):
At about 7:45 p.m. tonight the District Court dissolved the TRO that kept the recount going, effectively ending the Michigan Recount since the state court ordered a halt. Full Order at bottom of post:
…. 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 under Michigan’s statutory scheme….
There is no case lawrecognizing an independent federal right to a recount that either this Court or the parties have
come across, in the absence of actual deprivation of voting rights. Rather, Plaintiffs’ asserted right to a recount is just a restatement of her right to participate in a fair election, free from tampering or mistake. But, to date, Plaintiffs have not presented evidence of tampering or mistake. Instead, they present speculative claims going to the vulnerability of the voting machinery — but not actual injury. Because mere potentiality does not amount to a claim that the vote was not fairly conducted, Plaintiffs’ new claims are insufficient to maintain the existing TRO. No likelihood of success on that claim has been shown.
The issues that Plaintiffs raise are serious indeed. The vulnerability of our system of voting poses the threat of a potentially devastating attack on the integrity of our election system. But invoking a court’s aid to remedy that problem in the manner Plaintiffs have chosen — seeking a recount as an audit of the election to test whether the vulnerability led to actual compromise of the voting system — has never been endorsed by any court, and would require, at a minimum, evidence of significant fraud or mistake — and not speculative fear of them. Such evidence has not been presented here.
For all these reasons, this Court dissolves the TRO effective immediately.
Tuesday, Michigan’s Court of Appeals halted the presidential vote recount instigated by failed Green Party presidential candidate, Jill Stein. The court determined Stein was not an “aggrieved candidate” and the results of the recount would not tip the scale in her favor.
At the same time, the 6th Circuit decided in a 2-1 vote that the recount could proceed. Their decision indicated the recount order could be dismissed if state courts found it incongruent with state law.
Wednesday morning, a federal judge heard arguments for the Michigan recount:
In Michigan, U.S District Judge Mark Goldsmith heard arguments on Wednesday for lifting the order made by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled that the recount should continue in the state.
Goldsmith plans to issue a written opinion, possibly later on Wednesday, according to local media reports. A court spokesman did not immediately reply to messages seeking details.
The 6th Circuit’s decision was issued shortly before an order by the Michigan Court of Appeals that the recount be halted on the grounds Stein was not an “aggrieved candidate” with standing to demand one.
Stein also requested recounts in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.
The Wisconsin recount is chugging along just fine, with minuscule changes in the original results.
Pennsylvania is not going so well for Stein. Wednesday, a Philadelphia court denied Stein’s request for a, “full forensic analysis of the city’s voting machines and their software.”
If Goldsmith says the recount should end, it looks as though the state is willing to accept that decision without issue:
ALERT: Board of Canvassers votes 3-1 on motion to instruct state elections director to end recount if federal judge lifts his order.
— Chad Livengood (@ChadLivengood) December 7, 2016
We’ll update with Goldsmith’s opinion when it’s available.
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