A U.S. federal judge has heard arguments on whether to proceed with Michigan’s presidential recount requested by former Green Party candidate Jill Stein, a report said.
The new hearing was held after two court orders were handed down. A Michigan state appeals court ordered the recount to be stopped, while a federal appeals court said it should proceed.
So now, it’s up to U.S District Judge Mark Goldsmith to decide on whether to lift the order made by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, a federal court, which said that Michigan’s recount should go forward. Goldsmith is planning to issue a written decision—possibly by the end of the day on Wednesday, Reuters reported. But according to the Detroit Free Press, Goldsmith didn’t say when he will issue the ruling.
The Michigan Republican Party and the Michigan Attorney General’s Office argued that the recount should be halted because the Michigan Court of Appeals has already handed down its ruling to do so. Stein, they argued, took a mere 1 percent of the vote, and with no chance at winning, didn’t qualify as an aggrieved party.
Meanwhile, the recount would cost taxpayers, they said. According to one estimate, it would cost $500,000 each day, the Free Press reported.
“Don’t become the first federal court in the country to order a recount … for a candidate who lost by 2 million votes,” attorney John Bursh, arguing on behalf of the Michigan Attorney General’s Office, told the judge.
Stein’s lawyers said the recount is needed to see if Michigan’s voting systems were compromised or not.
“The state court decision is not final,” Stein attorney Hayley Horowitz told the judge. “There is no way to know whether fraud occurred without conducting the recount.”
Horowitz said that a recount can show if there are “clear flags” something went wrong.
Trump won Michigan by 10,704 votes over rival Hillary Clinton.
Stein is also pushing for a recount in Pennsylvania after filing a federal lawsuit. Another recount is taking place in Wisconsin, and reports have indicated that Trump has gained dozens of votes over Clinton in the state since.
In a hurdle for Stein’s efforts on Wednesday, Philadelphia’s Court of Common Pleas rejected a full forensic analysis of the city’s voting machines, Stein said in a statement, as Reuters reported. They had claimed that a forensic analysis would be the only way to guarantee the city’s election results.
“The court’s decision will deny voters the chance to know the truth about this election,” Ilann Maazel, counsel at Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Abady, the lead counsel for Stein, told Reuters.