The Arkansas Supreme Court has granted the state's request to put on hold a mandate to turn over information about the source of its execution drugs.
The temporary stay was issued about an hour before a noon Friday deadline set by Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge Wendell Griffen, who ruled the day before that the state must disclose the information.
The Arkansas attorney general's office asked for the stay and also has filed a notice that it will appeal Griffen's ruling.
Griffen sided with death row inmates challenging the constitutionality of the secrecy portion of the state's execution law, saying drug suppliers do not have a constitutional right to be free from criticism.
The inmates said early Friday that the state had not proven it would be irreparably harmed by the disclosure since it has already obtained the drugs.
The high court also asked attorneys for both sides in the legal challenge to submit briefs by Dec. 14.