A federal judge denied lawyer Paul Zukerberg’s lawsuit against a DC Council bill to delay the election of the District’s attorney general until at least 2018, dealing a severe blow to Zukerberg’s campaign to be the first person voted into that position. Judge James E. Boasberg wrote in his opinion that while Zukerberg raised several valid points about the uncertainty about the scheduling of an attorney general election, the case did not belong in his courtroom because the delay bill is not settled law. “While Zukerberg raises an interesting challenge, the Court has no power to rule on that question today, as none of his claims is ripe for review,” Boasberg wrote.
The ripeness issue can be chalked up to the fact that all bills passed by the DC Council need to pass through Congress’s review. That hasn’t happened yet with the delay bill, therefore, Boasburg ruled, it cannot be challenged yet. Boasberg illustrated this by comparing Zukerberg to a car dealer who sues before a new tax on auto sales is signed into law.
“If the legislature has not yet passed the law, no one would suggest that the dealer could bring a court challenge based on the fact that such a tax might prospectively alter his business model,” the judge wrote.