Attorney General of the District of Columbia
|Attorney General of the District of Columbia|
Seal of the Office of the Attorney General
|Term length||Four years, renewable|
|Website||Office of the Attorney General|
The Attorney General of the District of Columbia is the chief legal officer of the District of Columbia. Previously appointed by the Mayor, D.C. voters approved a charter amendment in 2010 which made the office an elected position beginning in 2014.
In September 2013, Paul Zukerberg filed suit against the DC Council and the city elections claiming any delay would violate the District charter — which was amended through the 2010 ballot question to provide for the election of the city’s top lawyer. Attorney General Irv Nathan initially argued that Zukerberg was not suffering any “meaningful hardship” from pushing back the election.
On February 7, 2014, a District of Columbia Superior Court judge ruled that ballots for the April 1 primary could be printed without the Attorney General race. Zukerberg appealed the ruling, declaring himself a candidate and arguing that he would suffer "irreparable harm" if the election were postponed.
On June 4, 2014 the District of Columbia Court of Appeals overturned the lower court's decision. According to the ruling, the Court of Appeals "[determined] that the Superior Court's interpretation was incorrect as a matter of law and reverse." They stated in the ruling that original language in Elected Attorney General Act is ambiguous in stating the election "shall be after January 1, 2014," and that the attorney general referendum ratified by a majority of D.C. voters last year made it seem as though the election would take place in 2014. On June 13, Zukerberg collected nominating petitions.
Joining Zukerberg as candidates for the position were insurance litigator and activist Lorie Masters, federal lawyer Edward "Smitty" Smith, white-collar attorney Karl Racine, and legislative policy analyst Lateefah Williams. Racine secured a plurality victory, winning 36% of the votes cast, and will be sworn in as the first elected Attorney General in 2015.
Previous Attorneys General of the District of Columbia
- "D.C. Council delays first election of attorney general". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2014-04-06.
- "Attorney Paul Zukerberg Suing DC Council Over Timing of Attorney General Election". Washingtonian.com. Retrieved 2014-02-21.
- "D.C. Judge: AG Race Won’t Be on April 1 Ballot". CBS. Retrieved 2014-04-06.
- Matt Cohen (February 7, 2014). "There Will Not Be An Attorney General Election This April". DCist. Retrieved August 12, 2014.
- Matt Cohen and Sarah Anne Hughes (June 13, 2014). "Board Of Elections Hands Over Ballot Petitions For An Elected Attorney General". DCist. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
- Mike DeBonis (2014-07-16). "Lorie Masters seeks D.C. attorney general post in November election". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2014-10-12.
- Mike DeBonis (2014-07-07). "Edward ‘Smitty’ Smith, former federal lawyer, joins D.C. attorney general race". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2014-07-22.
- Jennifer van der Kleut (2014-07-16). "D.C. attorney general race: One candidate drops out, four new ones jump in". ABC7 WJLA. Retrieved 2014-07-22.
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