The U.S. Attorney General has until Jan. 20 to intervene on the federal sports betting lawsuit, a judge ruled this week.

In response to an amateur sports organization and four professional leagues, which sued, seeking to block the state from taking sports bets, New Jersey called into question the federal law that prohibits most states from taking sports wagers.

The constitutional challenge has prompted the federal judge overseeing the case to ask the attorney general whether he wants to weigh in on the case, according to documents filed Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver have moved to be made a party to the lawsuit. The sports organizations oppose the move, and will have until Dec. 10 to submit their written opposition. The judge is expected to rule on the measure between now and Dec. 17.

The sports organizations also must respond to New Jersey’s constitutional challenge by Dec. 5. The first oral argument on the case is scheduled for 1 p.m. Dec. 18 at U.S. District Court in Trenton.

Hoa Nguyen