DC Appleseed Center

For Law and Justice

DC Attorney General

DC’s Chief Legal Officer Initially Appointed by the Mayor

Today, DC’s Attorney General is widely recognized as one of the city’s most important elected officials. The major reason that we now have an elected, independent attorney general is DC Appleseed’s advocacy.

For the first 40 years of our Home Rule government, DC’s chief legal officer was appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the Council. As part of our quest to increase democracy in and for the District, DC Appleseed developed the language and advocated for a 2010 charter amendment which called for an elected attorney general who would take office in 2015. After the amendment was approved by over 75% of DC’s voters, potential candidates and DC residents looked forward to the election of an attorney general in 2014.

 In 2012, the DC Council, however, voted to delay the election until 2018.
Attorney Paul Zukerberg, who was eager to be a candidate, sued the Council
and the Board of Elections, claiming that delaying the election for attorney
general was a violation of the DC charter. DC Appleseed supported
Zukerburg’s claim and filed an amicus brief.

Appleseed Joins Legal Challenge to DC Council

Court Victory Leads to Attorney General Election

In June of 2014, the DC Court of Appeals upheld Zukerberg’s claim and ordered the DC Board of Elections to hold the election that year. On November 4, 2014 DC voters chose the city’s first elected attorney general.

 

PROJECTS STAFF
& PARTNERS

Staff Contact:

Walter Smith
 Neil Richardson

Pro Bono Partners:

Gary Thompson
Arent Fox Schiff LLP
Merril Hirsch
and Latham & Watkins LLP

DC Attorney General Seal