The Obama administration has lost its argument that a potential threat to national security is a good enough reason to stop a lawsuit challenging the government's warrantless wiretapping program.

A federal appeals court in San Francisco today rejected the Justice Department's request for an emergency stay in the case brought by the Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation, which had an Ashland chapter.

The Obama administration, like the Bush administration before it, cited the so-called state secrets privilege as its defense. The government claimed national security would be compromised if a lawsuit brought by the U.S. chapter of an Islamic charity was allowed to proceed.

The decision by the three-judge appeals panel is a setback for the new Obama administration as it adopts some of the same positions on national security and secrecy as the Bush administration.

— The Associated Press