Stein seeks to disqualify 2 justices in recount case

Chad Livengood
Detroit News Lansing Bureau

Lansing — Green Party candidate Jill Stein wants two Republican-nominated justices on the Michigan Supreme Court disqualified from considering a lawsuit seeking to stop the election recount because they’re on President-elect Donald Trump’s U.S. Supreme Court nomination short list.

Southfield attorney Mark Brewer, who is representing Stein, filed a motion Tuesday morning seeking to have Chief Justice Robert Young Jr. and Justice Joan Larsen disqualified from hearing a lawsuit brought by Attorney General Bill Schuette.

“Chief Justice Young and Justice Larsen thus have a substantial personal and professional interest in the election of Trump as president,” Brewer wrote in the filing.

Brewer argued Young and Larsen would “create an appearance of impropriety” they were to rule in Trump’s favor and end the recount, which commenced Monday under order by a federal judge.

“This litigation thus offers Chief Justice Young and Justice Larsen the opportunity to rule against Stein and hinder or stop her recount effort,” Brewer wrote in a one-page court filing.

Brewer worked to defeat Republican-nominated justices on the Michigan Supreme Court in his past job at chairman of the Michigan Democratic Party.

The Michigan Supreme Court has not taken action to consider Schuette’s request to bypass the Court of Appeals to hold an emergency hearing this week.

The Court of Appeals has scheduled a 4 p.m. hearing Tuesday in Lansing to consider two lawsuits brought by Trump and Schuette seeking to end what they consider to be a frivolous recount sparked by Stein’s request.

Stein finished fourth in the presidential election and her attorneys have acknowledged she has no chance of overturning Michigan’s election results in her favor.

Trump, a Republican, defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton by 10,704 votes in the Nov. 8 general election.

The statewide hand recount of 4.8 million ballots began mid-day Monday in Oakland and Ingham counties.

Election workers in Kalamazoo, Kent, Macomb, Ottawa, Washtenaw and Wayne counties started their recounts at 9 a.m. Tuesday. Other counties will begin recounting ballots later this week in a staggered schedule developed by the state Bureau of Elections.

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Twitter: @ChadLivengood