Washington: A federal judge on Tuesday rejected the State Department`s plan to publish next January the emails of former secretary of state Hillary Clinton.
Judge Rudolph Contreras said on Tuesday that he will ask that the emails not be released en masse but gradually and he will require that the State Department establish a schedule for making them public.
In question are some 55,000 pages of emails from the 2009-2012 period.
Clinton turned over those files to the State Department after controversy arose over the fact that during those four years she always used a personal email account and a private server for her communications.
The department`s target date for publishing the emails is January 15, 2016, just two weeks before the Iowa caucuses, the first important milestone of Clinton`s battle for the Democratic presidential nomination.
The future publication of these documents comes as a result of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by Vice News.
After the judge`s ruling, Clinton said on Tuesday that she wants the emails to be released "as quickly as they possibly can" be.
Clinton noted that she has said repeatedly that she wants the emails to be published, although she said that the State Department has its own procedures whereby the process could be delayed.
The former secretary of state urged her former colleagues to review the communications as soon as possible and emphasised that she is certain that they will only serve to prove "the hard work" she did while heading the department.
Clinton acknowledged in March that it would have been "smarter" to use an official email account, and she added that she only erased messages that contained personal communications and not ones related to her work as secretary of state.