The Obama administration on Thursday appealed a court ruling that ordered the Pentagon to halt enforcement of “Don't Ask, Don't Tell,” the AP reported.

Instead of appealing the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' order to the Supreme Court, the Department of Justice asked the same federal court to reconsider its decision.

“Don't Ask, Don't Tell” bans gay and bisexual troops from serving openly. Lawmakers last December agreed to repeal the 1993 law, but the policy remains in effect until 60 days after top Pentagon leaders and President Barack Obama certify that the military has been properly trained for the change.

A three-judge panel last week lifted its own order that kept the policy in place after U.S. District Judge Virginia A. Phillips ruled last September that the Pentagon's policy is unconstitutional, effectively barring the military from enforcing the ban.

“The Department has filed a motion asking the Ninth Circuit to reconsider its order lifting the stay of the injunction on the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy to avoid short-circuiting the repeal process established by Congress during the final stages of the implementation of repeal,” Tracy Schmaler, a spokeswoman for the Justice Department, said in a statement.

Schmaler added that “senior military leaders are expected to make their decision on certifying repeal within the next few weeks.”

Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN), the largest group lobbying for repeal, said the government's latest move could add more delay.

“At SLDN, we are frustrated by this last-minute filing, which could well add more delay and confusion for service members,” Sarvis said in a statement. “This development only serves to underscore the need for immediate certification and finality.”

The gay GOP group challenging the law blasted the administration's filing as “doublespeak.”

“Let me be clear – the president is asking the court for the power to continue threatening servicemembers with investigation and discharge, and the right to turn away qualified Americans from military service for no reason other than their sexual orientation,” R. Clarke Cooper, the executive director of Log Cabin Republicans, said in a statement. “Even if the administration never uses that power, it is still wrong.”