An Historic Victory

We just received news about an historic victory for D.C. democracy. Today the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit dismissed the lawsuit over the validity of the Local Budget Autonomy Charter Amendment and vacated the district judge’s decision.

This means that the local budget autonomy law that was passed by the D.C. Council, ratified by District voters, and duly reviewed by the Congress is now the law. It also means that that District officials can and should implement that law immediately. The Court’s ruling came at just the right moment, because there is time for the Council to implement the new budget autonomy law and apply it to the current budget they reviewed today.

We congratulate Mayor Muriel Bowser for urging the court to dismiss the appeal and vacate the judge’s decision. And we congratulate Council Chairman Phil Mendelson and his colleagues for supporting the law from its inception and being prepared to defend it if necessary in court. This was also a great achievement for the pro bono legal team involved, including Rick Bress of Latham & Watkins and Professor Alan Morrison for the Mayor, and Karen Dunn of Boies Schiller and Brian Netter of Mayer Brown for the Council.

In the coming days, we are looking forward to Mayor Bowser, Chairman Mendelson, and the Council taking the final steps toward securing this great achievement for D.C. democracy. But today we can all savor this historic victory.

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