Report: Zukerberg takes fight over delayed D.C. AG election back to lower court

By Jessica M. Karmasek | Dec 3, 2013

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) -- The Washington, D.C., attorney who lost a challenge in federal court over the decision to delay the District's attorney general election filed a new complaint in the District of Columbia Superior Court last week.

Paul Zukerberg, who also is campaigning to be the District's first elected attorney general, despite the fact there may not be an election until 2018, filed his complaint in the superior court Wednesday, The Blog of Legal Times reported.

His first lawsuit was originally filed in the superior court in September. However, 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.

Zukerberg lost that battle last month.

In his Nov. 15 memorandum opinion, Judge James "Jeb" Boasberg denied Zukerberg's request for an injunction.

Boasberg said the federal court lacked 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.

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

In his new complaint, Zukerberg dropped the constitutional claims altogether.

Instead, he argues that the council violated the city charter by delaying the attorney general election.

"The 2013 Delay Act is a glaring affront to democracy in the District of Columbia," Zukerberg wrote in the new eight-page complaint. "And it is hypocritical of Councilmembers who purport to stand for our democratic rights at the federal level to, at the same time, undermine democratic rights for this city-wide office."

Click here to read the complaint.

According to BLT, a scheduling hearing has been set for Feb. 28.

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

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