The District will have its first attorney general election in 2014… or at least right after 2014. That’s the ruling from the D.C. Court of Appeals this afternoon, which upheld attorney general candidate Paul Zukerberg’s lawsuit against the D.C. Board of Elections in an attempt to hold the vote this year. Even though the D.C. Council voted to move the election to 2018 last year on the grounds that the bill establishing the election only required the first election to take place “after Jan. 1, 2014,” the appeals court ruled that the language meant instead that the election should take place in 2014, not any time afterwards. “We conclude that a far more natural reading of ‘shall be after January 1, 2014’ is that an election for the District’s Attorney General must be held in 2014,” the order reads.
With the November general election five months away, the appeals court sent the case back to Superior Court, where a judge will decide whether the election can be held this year.
“If the District can establish that an election in 2014 is not practically possible, then the election must be held as soon thereafter in 2015 as is practically possible,” the order reads.
The D.C. Board of Elections referred LL’s question about whether it could schedule the vote this year to the Office of the Attorney General. OAG spokesman Ted Gest said the agency will have a statement on the ruling later this afternoon.
The ruling represents a win for Zukerberg, a failed D.C. Council at-large candidate and marijuana activist who got a second life in District’s politics after suing over the delayed election.