A case involving claims of Energy Department "cronyism" under the Obama administration is set to get another look in federal court, an appeals court judge said Friday.

D.C. Circuit Court of the Appeals Judge Brett Kavanaugh, a Republican, ordered a lower court on Friday to take up a lawsuit by the company Limnia, which makes batteries for electric cars.

Limnia was denied a loan from the Energy Department's vehicle technology program because the department said the application didn't meet the agency's specifications and requirements. The battery company then sued the Energy Department in the D.C. district court, arguing that "cronyism" was the basis for the rejection.

The Energy Department recommended that the court put the matter back into the agency's hands by remanding the case and directing Limnia to reapply for the loan. The court did just that.

But Kavanaugh said the court was in error. It should have directed the agency to review the company's application a second time and now must re-examine the company's claims, he wrote. Kavanaugh, however, did not address Lumnia's "cronyism" claims or the merits of the case.

"A voluntary remand is typically appropriate only when the agency intends to revisit the challenged agency decision on review," Kavanaugh wrote. "That prerequisite was not met in this case."