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DOJ asks judge to stay abortion injunction (UPDATE)

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – The state Department of Justice asked a federal judge Thursday to stay a lawsuit challenging a new Wisconsin law that requires abortion providers to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals.

Planned Parenthood and Affiliated Medical Services argue the law will force clinics in Appleton and Milwaukee to close because the facilities’ providers lack such privileges. U.S. District Judge William Conley has issued a preliminary injunction blocking the law until he makes a final ruling following a November trial.

DOJ attorneys have appealed Conley’s order to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. They filed a motion Thursday asking Conley to stay the case in his court pending an appellate decision.

They argued allowing the case to proceed simultaneously down two tracks would be inefficient and create confusion. They also questioned Conley’s jurisdiction now that the case is in the appeals court.

Online court records show Conley has given Planned Parenthood and AMS until Wednesday to file a reply brief. He has suspended all briefing deadlines in the case until then.

The injunction blocking the law remains in effect, though.

Planned Parenthood and AMS attorneys Lester Pines and Laurence Dupuis told The Associated Press they don’t oppose putting the case on hold until November. But they believe the judge should restart proceedings then because it’s unclear how long the 7th Circuit might take to rule.

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