Appeals court won’t revisit AG election ruling


Gary Thompson (L) and Paul Zukerberg stand outside the District’s U.S. Courthouse in December after oral arguments in their bid to restore an D.C. attorney general election in 2014. (Mike DeBonis/The Washington Post)

It is now beyond any doubt: Primary voters will not see the office of attorney general on their April 1 ballots.

After a D.C. Superior Court judge declined earlier this month to force elections officials to include the office on ballots now being printed, lawyer and would-be candidate Paul Zukerberg asked the D.C. Court of Appeals to revisit the decision.

A three-judge panel reviewed the appeal and ruled in a brief order Tuesday that it will not intervene. The lower-court judge “considered the appropriate factors” in denying Zukerberg’s request, the panel said.

Zukerberg alleges in his lawsuit that the D.C. Council, by voting last year to delay the first AG election until 2018, violated the charter amendment mandating an elected attorney general passed by voters in 2010. The summary presented to voters specified the first AG election would take place in 2014, but the underlying text of amendment says only that the election must take place after Jan. 1, 2014.

Under the appeals court ruling, Zukerberg may continue pursuing his lawsuit. But if he prevails, his remedies will not, at this point, include gaining a place on the 2014 primary ballot.

Mike DeBonis covers Congress and national politics for The Washington Post. He previously covered D.C. politics and government from 2007 to 2015.

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Mike DeBonis · February 25, 2014