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Mayor Bowser Wins Biggest Victory for District Autonomy Since the End of the Control Board

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

(Washington, DC) – The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled today in favor of Mayor Bowser and the Council of the District of Columbia by dismissing a case that cast into doubt the validity of DC’s budget autonomy referendum.  Mayor Bowser issued the following statement:

“As Mayor, I’m committed to advancing efforts to promote the District’s autonomy, and, ultimately, statehood.  Within my first 100 days, we broke with the position of the prior Mayor and took legal efforts to promote budget autonomy and to protect the will of District voters.  I’m delighted with the Court of Appeals’ ruling today. Budget Autonomy will free the District from much of the uncertainty of the current appropriations process. For decades we have been subject to the whims of Congress and delays on Capitol Hill that have threatened the day-to-day operations of the District. Today’s victory marks a significant milestone in our continuing fight for self-government.”

“We are making progress in the fight for self-determination but we still have a long way to go. Congress still must passively approve legislation enacted by the Council; we don’t appoint our own judges; and we continue to be vulnerable to Congressional whims. So I’m happy to celebrate today with 83% of voters who cast ballots in favor of Budget Autonomy knowing that tomorrow is another opportunity to fight for greater autonomy for District residents.” 

“I want to thank our counsel in this case, Professor Alan Morrison and a legal team led by Rick Bress at Latham & Watkins.  We are fortunate we could turn to the most talented and public-minded lawyers in the country for expert legal help.”