A soldier who challenged an Army policy requiring him to serve past the date of his enlistment contract must return for duty in Iraq (search) while his lawsuit is under review, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.

U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth (search) refused to issue a temporary restraining order allowing Spc. David Qualls (search) to remain in the United States, where he is home on leave. He is scheduled to fly back to Iraq on Friday.

"It appears to me the extension was legally proper," Lamberth said. "I find no likelihood of success on the merits."

Qualls, 35, is one of seven soldiers challenging the "stop loss" (search) policy that allows the Army to extend enlistments during war or national emergencies as a way to promote continuity and cohesiveness on the battlefield.