US Asks Court to Reinstate Drilling Ban Feds taking advantage of slow legal pace By John Johnson, Newser Staff Posted Jul 7, 2010 12:43 PM CDT 14 comments Comments A June 8 file photo of a drilling rig near the site of the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. (AP Photo/Dave Martin, File) (Newser) – Three federal judges will hear the government's plea tomorrow to keep a moratorium on deepwater drilling in place while the case winds its way through the courts. The Obama administration wants to impose the 6-month moratorium in the wake of the BP disaster, but a lower court has deemed that to be too far-reaching. The government yesterday filed its appeal, reports the New York Times. The New Orleans Times-Picayune notes that the feds have not sought an expedited appeals process, probably because they like the slow legal process: No moratorium is currently in place, but oil companies are reluctant to start any new projects that might eventually be shut down by the courts. "They can accomplish a de facto moratorium by dragging out the process," a Loyola professor tells the newspaper.