The Obama administration on Wednesday urged the Supreme Court not to interrupt enforcement of “Don't Ask, Don't Tell,” the law that bans gay and bisexual troops from serving openly, while it appeals a lower court's ruling that found the policy to be unconstitutional.

The filing comes in response to an application made last week by a gay GOP group challenging the military ban. Lawyers for the Log Cabin Republicans have asked the court to reinstate a lower court's order against enforcement of the policy.

The government argued that forcing the military to halt the policy at a time of war would create problems.

“The military should not be required to suddenly and immediately restructure a major personnel policy that has been in place for years, particularly during a time when the nation is involved in combat operations overseas,” Clifford L. Stanley, the under secretary of defense for personnel readiness, wrote in a supporting document.

In their plea, lawyers for the Log Cabin Republicans argue that the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals erred when it granted the Obama administration a permanent hold on a trial judge's order to stop enforcing “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” while the government prepares an appeal to U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips' September ruling striking down the law as unconstitutional and subsequent injunction against its enforcement. The injunction was in place for 8 days before the same court set aside the order temporarily.

The Supreme Court is only being asked to consider enforcement of the policy as an appeal moves forward. The gay GOP group will have an opportunity to respond to the government's filing before the court rules.

President Barack Obama has pledged to repeal the law that has ended the military careers of over 13,000 service members, but says he would prefer a legislative solution and has urged Congress to act. Backers of repeal are lobbying senators to take a second look at repeal during the upcoming lame-duck session that begins Monday. But recent GOP gains appear to have emboldened Republican senators who oppose repeal.

Log Cabin lawyers in their filing argued that the Ninth Circuit's order “was an abuse of discretion.”

“It ignored controlling precedent, including Lawrence (Lawrence v. Texas). It sidestepped the requirement that respondents show a likelihood of success on the merits, a showing they failed to make. It gave no consideration whatsoever to the injury that will befall the applicant from a stay. And it applied the wrong standard to respondent's claim of irreparable injury, which rested entirely on speculation, by accepting as sufficient the respondents' 'colorable' assertions of harm and injury, rather than requiring them to show a 'likelihood' of irreparable injury as this Court's precedents dictate.”