WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal appeals court judges are questioning whether the government has gone too far in searching the genital areas of Guantanamo detainees who want to meet with their lawyers.

At a hearing Monday, Judge Thomas Griffith suggested the practice was "provocative and offensive."

In July, a district court judge ordered the military to stop the practice. That judge concluded that the motivation for the searches is not to enhance security, as the government claims, but to deter the detainees' access to attorneys.

But a few days later, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit put that decision on hold while the court took up the case.