Ohio is asking a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by four death row inmates who are challenging a new state law that shields the names of companies providing lethal injection drugs.

The inmates say the law violates free speech rights. They have asked the same judge to stop the provisions from taking effect in March.

The state said in a filing Tuesday that nothing in the law violates prisoners' First Amendment rights or affects their ability to argue the issue in court.

Lawyers for the state attorney general say the law denies inmates access to information in the hands of the state, which is not the same thing as suppressing free speech.

The law is meant to restart Ohio executions delayed by a lack of drugs.