Published: Jul 15, 2011 9:07 PM EDT
Updated: Jul 15, 2011 8:07 PM EDT

SAN DIEGO (AP) - Critics say the Obama administration is waging an unnecessary legal battle to try and stop the court system from beating it to the punch in the rush to eliminate the military's 17-year ban on openly gay troops.

A little over a week after a federal appeals court halted the policy, the Department of Justice has filed an emergency motion asking the court to reconsider its order, saying ending the ban now would pre-empt the "orderly process" for rolling it back as outlined in the law passed and signed by President Barack Obama in December.

Critics say reinstating the ban so the military can end it on its own terms within weeks is unnecessary and would only hurt gay and lesbian troops by restarting investigations of service members.

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