The Bush administration has asked the Supreme Court to let it change the detention status of terror suspect Jose Padilla.
Mr. Padilla has been held as what the government calls an "enemy combatant" for more than three years without trial. The Justice Department now wants to transfer Mr. Padilla from military custody to stand trial in a civilian court.
An appeals court turned down that same request last week, saying it could be seen as an attempt by the government to avoid a review of the concept of "enemy combatants" and indefinite detention.
In its brief to the Supreme Court, the Justice Department said the appeals court decision hurts the administration's efforts in the war on terror.
Mr. Padilla's lawyers have repeatedly urged the courts to rein in an administration that, they say, has overstepped its authority.
Some information for this report provided by AFP and Reuters.