CHAIRMAN MENDELSON STATEMENT ON HISTORIC VICTORY FOR DISTRICT AUTONOMY
WASHINGTON, DC – This afternoon, Superior Court Judge Brian Holeman issued an order granting the Council’s motion for judgment in favor of budget autonomy.
Phil Mendelson, Chairman of the Council of the District of Columbia, released the following statement regarding the order issued today by the Superior Court of the District of Columbia in the budget autonomy litigation. The historic ruling upholds the Budget Autonomy Act, stating that the Council, the Mayor, and the District voters lawfully exercised their collective power to gain control over expenditure of local funds.
“Today’s ruling marks an historic step in the District’s quest for autonomy, and is a seminal day in the history of Home Rule,” Mendelson proclaimed. “The long fight for budget autonomy was initiated because the Council believes this to be morally right. We also believed it to be right as a matter of law and policy, a conviction that was affirmed in today’s ruling. Through the years of litigation on this matter, I have had confidence in our position. This ruling dispels any doubts on the legality of the law.” Mendelson continued, “It is my hope that, with this clarity from the court, the branches of the District’s Government can now move past litigation and forward with the running of our city.”
We expect that the District’s Chief Financial Officer—the only defendant left in the case—will accept this judgment as final, as he now has the judicial certainty he has said he wanted.
While the litigation over budget autonomy has taken a circuitous route, with efforts made to remove the matter, ironically, from the local courts, today’s ruling comes by way of the District’s own courts. The Council, and indeed the District, is in no small part indebted to the work of Karen Dunn of Boies Schiller & Flexner and Brian Netter of Mayer Brown. These pro bono attorneys have, like the Council, been a part of this fight since day one.
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Click here to read Chairman Mendelson’s full statement on the D.C. Superior Court’s decision on Budget Autonomy.