Advocates for D.C. budget autonomy wish Attorney General Irvin B. Nathan would call off his dogs. (Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post)

The budget autonomy battle is now before a federal judge, and in the minds of the advocates who pursued the novel referendum-based strategy now under litigation, there’s only one reason the matter is now in court: Attorney General Irvin B. Nathan. And that it’s the District’s top lawman, not the feds, standing between the city and its longstanding goal of securing more fiscal freedom from Congress rankles. “There hasn’t been a win like this in 40 years we can celebrate,” said D.C. Vote’s Kim Perry. “Congress did not act to overturn this new law. Why would our own attorney general?” But Nathan says it’s not his job to be a cheerleader for a political strategy, and there’s no signs he will give up soon. Even if a trial judge rules the referendum was valid, he said, a ruling from a federal appeals court would be “helpful.”

In other news:

It’s a “very interesting D.C. equivalent of a state constitutional crisis” (Volokh Conspiracy)

New regulatory burdens on farmer’s markets bring “plenty of confusion and some frustration” (Young & Hungry)

Vince Gray says he intends to push through firefighter shift changes (DofD)

Zoo considers new security measures — including checkpoints — after latest Easter Monday violence (PostAPWRC-TVWUSA-TV)

Charles Willoughby’s departure means it’s time to revisit IG qualifications statute (Post editorial)

Jim Graham is thinking about seeking the Ward 1 State Board of Education seat (DofD)

Four candidates emerge for the Ward 8 seat (Loose Lips)

Marijuana legalization backers get going on signature-gathering (Loose LipsWJLA-TV)

A Corcoran breakup explainer (City Paper)

Luxury retailers galore at CityCenter: Dior, Hermes, Ferragamo — and next, a Conrad hotel (Capital BusinessWBJ)

A good use for city-owned land? (Housing Complex)

Why not try incentives to keep middle-class families in struggling D.C. schools? (Post column)

More sadly forgotten D.C. neighborhoods: Buzzard’s Roost, Ryder’s Castle, Zig-Zag Alley (Ghosts of DC)

Georgetown’s future lies along the C&O Canal (Housing Complex)

Why can’t the DMV match make and model before issuing delinquent ticket notices? (WTOP)

The case for increasing TANF benefits sooner (DCFPI)

Common Core standardized tests “aren’t yet ready for prime time” (GGW)

Chris Brown trial now pushed back to June (Post)

Editor Garrett Graff is leaving Washingtonian (City Desk)

Lane Hudson, gay David Catania backer, explains why he’s forsaking the Democratic Party (Blade)

Weaknesses in D.C.’s 1958 zoning code were identified way back in 1970 (GGW)

U Street neighbors want daytime retail uses written into Grimke School RFP (SALM)

In D.C. high schools, some first steps toward computer science instruction (Post)

D.C. man pleads guilty to trying to rob bank while on supervised release for robbing 19 other banks (D.C. Crime Stories)

Whaddaya know? A $1.75 beer on 14th Street NW (Young & Hungry)