Feds want "don't ask, don't tell" halt stayed

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- The federal government is asking the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider its order last week demanding an immediate halt to the enforcement of the ban on openly gay troops in the military.

The Obama administration filed an emergency motion late Thursday in response to the appeals court's decision last week to lift its stay of a lower court's ruling last year that found the ban, known as "don't ask, don't tell," unconstitutional.

Department of Justice lawyers said in the motion that ending the ban now would pre-empt the "orderly process" for rolling back the 17-year-old policy as outlined in the law passed and signed by the president in December.

The Justice Department asked the 9th Circuit to issue a decision by the end of the day Friday.