Big day for budget autonomy


Attorney General Irvin B. Nathan, who believes the budget autonomy referendum is legally bogus, is expected to personally argue in federal court Wednesday. (Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post)

Years of legal strategizing comes down to this: U.S. District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan will hear arguments this morning on whether last year’s budget autonomy referendum has any legal effect and is likely to rule on the question shortly thereafter. The court case is an unusual one, pitting branches of the District government against each other, with Capitol Hill leaders on the sidelines hoping to influence the case. House Republicans have filed a friend-of-the-court brief arguing that the referendum is invalid; top Democratic leaders declined to join them. Sullivan’s ruling may not be the end of the matter: Attorney General Irvin B. Nathan, who is expected to personally argue this morning, has hinted that even a pro-referendum ruling might be appealed.

In other news:

It’s that time of year: Mary Cheh’s joke budget memo (PostLoose LipsGGW)

Jim Graham says he’ll introduce legislation to close D.C. General shelter (WTTG-TV)

In many neighborhoods, there’s a bike parking crunch (ExpressWRC-TV)

D.C. is tops in pre-K, national survey finds (Post)

Where gentrification was happening 35 years ago (GGWHousing Complex)

“Woman With a Car vs. Washington D.C.’s Taxi Cartel” (Reason TV)

LivingSocial has nowhere near the number of D.C. employees necessary to claim tax breaks (Capital Business)

Downtown landlords want answers on new, potentially more costly assessment method (WBJ)

Marijuana legalization backers hire former surgeon as full-time organizer (WAMU-FM)

Don’t let your Bikeshare bike get stolen (Dr. Gridlock)

Historic Preservation Office documents alley structures (Current via DishDCOP)

Vatican suggests it’s taking “Exorcist” author’s complaints about Georgetown University seriously (Post)

On Pennsylvania Avenue bike lane, “zebras” are out and “Park-Its” are in (GGW)

Fatal stabbing in Marshall Heights (WUSA-TVPost)

Police want help finding suspects in Adams Morgan sex assault (PostWTOP)

Watch the Supercan “blitz” in action (WJLA-TV)

The outrageous truth behind Tunlaw Road NW (Ghosts of DC)

Brooklyn gives up on D.C. flea market (PoPville)

Washington Monument scaffolding could be erected … in Pittsburgh? (AP via WashCycle)

New app gives easy access to D.C. restaurant health inspections (DCist)

It’s almost pool season again (WJLA-TV)

A Sala Thai is coming to Minnesota and Benning (Bisnow)

“How to Avoid a Rowhouse Collapse” (UrbanTurf)

Mike DeBonis covers local politics and government for The Washington Post. He also writes a blog and a political analysis column that runs on Fridays.
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Mike DeBonis · May 13