In a brief to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, federal prosecutors argued an inmate awaiting trial can be medicated to reduce their dangerousness, the Arizona Daily Star reported.
The brief was filed in response to a defense argument filed for Loughner on July 27 saying prison officials needed a court order before forcing him to take anti-psychotic drugs that could also render him competent to stand trial.
Loughner, who has been diagnosed with schizophrenia, is charged in the Jan. 8 shooting spree that left six people dead and 13 wounded, including Giffords.
The appeals court set an Aug. 30 date for oral arguments on the issue in San Francisco.