Federal judge denies injunction in challenge over D.C. AG election delay

By Jessica M. Karmasek | Nov 22, 2013

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) -- Last week, a federal judge denied a request for an injunction in a challenge over the District of Columbia's delayed attorney general election.

Paul Zukerberg, a Washington, D.C., attorney who specializes in defending marijuana possession cases and is campaigning to become the District's first elected attorney general, filed the lawsuit in District of Columbia Superior Court Sept. 30.

The case was removed to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia at the request of the defendants, the District's Board of Elections and its council.

In a Nov. 15 memorandum opinion, Judge James "Jeb" Boasberg denied Zukerberg's requested motion for a preliminary injunction.

Without the injunction, voters will not be permitted to elect an attorney general before 2018.

Boasberg said it's out of his hands. The court, he said, lacks jurisdiction since the law -- passed by the council and approved without Mayor Vincent Gray's signature -- isn't final.

"While Zukerberg raises an interesting challenge, the court has no power to rule on that question today, as none of his claims is ripe for review," the judge wrote in his 15-page opinion.

However, Boasberg said Zukerberg can renew his motion for an injunction once the law "becomes binding."

The judge also suggested Zukerberg consider re-filing in the superior court, due to the lack of federal constitutional claims.

Click here to read the full opinion.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at jessica@legalnewsline.com.

More News

The Record Network