Judge James Peterson late Friday denied a federal lawsuit served earlier in the day by two Trump PACs aiming to end recount efforts in Wisconsin.
Peterson did not completely turn down the case, electing to hold a hearing Dec. 9 to hear arguments.
The lawsuit served Friday morning by the Great America PAC and Stop Hillary PAC — two political committees that support Trump — asked a judge from Wisconsin’s Western District court to stop the election recount that is expected to run until Dec. 12.
— Laurel White (@lkwhite) December 2, 2016
Peterson denied the PACs’ request for a temporary restraining order on the state’s presidential recount because “the plaintiffs have made no showing that they will be irreparably harmed by allowing the recount to continue during the time it would take … [to] give defendants an opportunity to respond to plaintiffs’ motion.”
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The plaintiffs alleged the standards which Wisconsin officials will follow for the presidential recount are too arbitrary to satisfy the country’s Equal Protection Clause. Further, they argue the recount may not be completed by Dec. 13, threatening Wisconsin’s capacity to adhere to federal safe harbor laws.
The “safe harbor” laws require states to resolve any election issues by Dec.13, right before when the Electoral College meets Dec.19 to formally elect the next president.
Although the recount is expected to go until Dec.12, the plaintiffs believe it still may spoil Trump’s Electoral College victory.
The defendants, the Wisconsin Elections Commissions, responded to the suit via a Twitter message.
Recount will continue unless a judge orders otherwise. Keep counting!
— Wisconsin Elections (@WI_Elections) December 2, 2016
Former Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein’s campaign managers voiced their support for WEC and her plans to defend the recount in an email Friday morning.
“Citizens in Wisconsin and across the country have made it clear that they want a recount and deserve to see this process through to ensure integrity in the vote,” Matthew Brinckerhoff, lead attorney for the Stein campaign’s recount effort, said.
According to official election results, Trump won Wisconsin by 22,177 votes. WEC Chairman Mark Thomsen said he anticipates the recount to uphold Trump’s original victory.
Post updated at 4:21 p.m. to include Judge Peterson’s denial of request.
Post updated at 4:31 p.m. to include Peterson’s arguments.