We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
The judges on the D.C. Court of Appeals—who park for free at the courthouse—have squelched the latest effort by Washingtonians to thwart fanatical parking enforcers. In 1992, Michael Dorsey proposed a voter initiative that would forbid the city from booting cars registered in the District. Dorsey, who fights parking tickets for a living, says booting is “a punitive process” and contends that the city could collect unpaid fines when residents register their vehicles. But the Board of Elections and Ethics refused to allow Dorsey’s measure on the ballot. By law, voter initiatives are not permitted to impact the city budget, and Dorsey’s measure, the board found, would illegally restrict the D.C. Council’s exclusive authority to appropriate funds. A Superior Court judge upheld the board’s ruling, and in October, the District’s appeals court denied Dorsey’s appeal. Dorsey is rewriting the measure and plans to reintroduce it soon. This time, he says, he will appeal a rejection to federal court “as a denial of my right to vote.”