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GOP, Schuette still trying to shut down Michigan recount

The Michigan Court of Appeals ruled against Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein's right to request a ballot recount on Tuesday.

More courtroom drama tomorrow is expected as Michigan Republicans and the campaign of President-elect Donald Trump continue try to shut down the statewide ballot recount.

The recount was requested by Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein. But Republicans say, with one percent of the vote, Stein has no chance of winning in the end, and so has no right to demand a recount.

The Michigan Court of Appeals agreed.

But state Elections Director Chris Thomas says he won’t stop the recount without the OK from the federal judge who said it should go forward.

“I’m not headed to jail for contempt of a federal court,” he said. “That, I’m not doing.”

So, as one court says the recount can continue, another says it never should have started in the first place.

Thomas says, either way, the controversy needs to be resolved by Monday, when he expects the recount to wrap up.

Mark Brewer is an attorney for the Stein campaign. He says the state court of appeals cannot make a decision that’s in conflict with a ruling by a federal judge.

“And here we have a federal court order issued early, early Monday morning which said the recount shall continue without further order of that court,” he said.

Republican state Attorney General Bill Schuette says US District Court Judge Mark Goldsmith was out of bounds when he ordered the recount in the first place.

“Michigan law needs to prevail here,” he said. “This federal takeover is absolutely wrong, and it’s unjust.”

The Michigan Court of Appeals says Stein had no right to ask for a recount because she has no chance of emerging the winner. But a federal appeals court allowed the recount to continue.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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