Lawyers for Gov. James R. Thompson tried to persuade the Illinois Supreme Court yesterday that there is no justification for a full recount of the Nov. 2 gubernatorial election.
Seven justices questioned lawyers for Thompson, the Republican incumbent, and Adlai E. Stevenson, his Democrat opponent, for 90 minutes and then said they would rule at a later date.
Anton R. Valukas, Thompson's lawyer, asked the court to reject Stevenson's plea for a recount and reaffirm the state election board proclamation showing the governor a victor by 5,074 votes. Thompson's lawyers estimated that the recount would cost $4 million and said it would be a waste of taxpayer funds.
The State Election Contest Panel would have until May 2 to complete a recount if it decided to go ahead.
Thompson's lawyers argued that the partial recount of about 500,000 of the 3.8 million votes cast did not turn up enough errors to justify a full recount.
Defending their petition, the Stevenson legal team countered that it found enough "irregularities and errors" to add 16,000 votes to Stevenson's total.
After the arguments before an overflow crowd in the court's Loop chambers in Chicago, Chief Justice Howard C. Ryan said the case was being taken under advisement. He did not say when a ruling would be made, but it is expected before the end of the year.
The court has four Democrats and three Republicans, but there is a political question as to whether the Democrats want to go ahead with a recount that could interfere with Chicago's Feb. 22 mayoral primary.