A federal appeals court moved late Thursday to retain a temporary order blocking the partial merger of Detroit's two daily newspapers while arguments are considered in the case.

The court responded to a Michigan citizens group that challenged a judge's decision upholding the agreement between The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press. Attorneys for Public Citizen in Washington, another advocacy group representing the Michigan organization, had filed an emergency motion to continue an order temporarily blocking the joint operating agreement.The appeals court responded by requiring the newspapers to answer the emergency motion by Friday morning, according to lawyers in the case.