If the law supposes that … the law is a ass — a idiot.

— Charles Dickens

That Oliver Twist quote comes to mind in considering a judge's decision that two of the city's most prominent legal professionals lacked standing to seek the immediate removal from office of embattled District Attorney Seth Williams.

Common Pleas Court Judge Daniel J. Anders dismissed "with prejudice" a lawsuit filed by former District Attorney Lynne M. Abraham and attorney Richard A. Sprague, which means they cannot revise their claims and refile the complaint.

Abraham and Sprague don't think Williams should be paid by the city while he fights corruption charges. No doubt many Philadelphia taxpayers would agree. Anders ruled Thursday, however, that the plaintiffs lacked standing to prove harm if Williams' remains in office while under federal indictment.

Williams' lawyer, Thomas Burke, said he felt the suit was filed to "embarrass" Williams. But it appears that the district attorney charged with accepting gifts in exchange for favors needs little help with that.