The Trump Administration asked the Supreme Court to lift a lower court's order preventing the executions of federal inmates Monday.
The 38-page filing marks the latest chapter in the Justice Department's efforts to resume federal executions after 16 years.
In November, a U.S. district judge blocked the scheduled executions of four federal inmates, ruling in favor of the inmates who challenged the lethal injection protocol that the government planned to use on them. A federal appeals court declined to stay or vacate that order, which led to Monday's filing by the government.
In the filing, the U.S. Solicitor General criticized the ruling, arguing that it was "meritless."
The request will go to Chief Justice John Roberts, who can either act on the request himself or refer it to the full court.