The department filed a motion Friday asking the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia for permission to withdraw its appeal, Politico reported. The courts generally grant such requests.
U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth ruled against the Obama administration, which wanted the power to set rules for lawyers for Guantanamo inmates who have not been formally charged and are not currently seeking release. Lamberth said the administration was engaged in "an illegitimate exercise of executive power."
An official said last month the Justice Department had not decided whether to continue with the appeal and had filed it to avoid closing off the possibility.
During his 2008 presidential campaign, Obama had promised to take a different approach to Guantanamo and the detainees held there.