WASHINGTON, DC – Paul Zukerberg, an attorney in the Adams Morgan neighborhood of Washington, D.C., filed a motion for preliminary injunction in federal court today, to assure that the office of elected attorney general remains on the 2014 ballot, pending a final judgment by the court.
“It’s a race against the clock,” says Zukerberg. “Without this preliminary injunction, the election will be over before anyone has a chance to run.”
On September 30, 2013, Zukerberg filed suit against the D.C. Board of Elections and the D.C. Council to secure the rights of District of Columbia voters to elect their Attorney General. A successful 2010 ballot initiative created a new office of elected attorney general, but the D.C. Council has blocked the 2014 election through legislation which Zukerberg says is illegal.
Zukerberg’s original law suit had been moved to federal court on October 9 by the D.C. Office of Attorney General, because his claims involve deprivation of voting rights guaranteed by the constitution. The federal case has been assigned to U.S. District Judge James E. “Jeb” Boasberg, and given case # 1:13-cv-01557-JEB.In his motion for a preliminary injunction, Zukerberg notes that the D.C. Council’s own lawyer warned the Council that removing the office of attorney general from the 2014 ballot was illegal. The Council did it anyway.
“My experience has shown that when a client disregards the advice of his own lawyer, bad things happen.” Zukerberg said.
Other voices concur that postponing the AG election would be illegal. Respected outside counsel from Latham & Watkins, LLP concluded that the Council does not have the authority to delay the Attorney General election past 2014.Zukerberg even cited the testimony of appointed AG Irv Nathan, who testified before the D.C. Council in March 2013: “For the first time in the long history of the District of Columbia, an elected Attorney General will, by law, take office in January 2015.” Stay tuned.