Blake Neff, DCNF
A federal judge Wednesday night shut down Michigan’s presidential recount, ruling that Green Party candidate Jill Stein has no constitutional right to demand a recount.
Stein has sought a recount of the presidential vote in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, three of the closest states which collectively give Donald Trump his margin of victory in the Electoral College. But her recount effort in Pennsylvania has already been shut down, while the recount in Wisconsin has yielded almost no change to the results, leaving Michigan as the lone place where Stein has a plausible hope of altering the result.
But in a ruling issued Wednesday night, federal district court judge Mark Goldsmith, a Barack Obama appointee, said a recount in Michigan was not warranted, upholding a prior ruling by a state court.
Goldsmith had previously ordered Michigan to begin recounting its votes Monday while he reviewed the decision of a Michigan state court, which found Stein was not an “aggrieved candidate” under Michigan law because she had no chance of winning, and therefore had no right to request a recount. Stein received just one percent of the vote in Michigan, but has argued she has a right to demand a recount for the sake of exposing alleged flaws in the state’s electoral system.
Goldsmith sustained the Michigan court’s ruling, saying Stein had offered only “speculative fear” of voter fraud rather than any actual evidence. The lack of any serious evidence, he said, meant a recount simply couldn’t be justified with Stein otherwise incapable of winning the election.
Stein will be able to appeal Goldsmith’s decision to the federal Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, but for the time being, the recount will be halted.