Judge Dismisses Suit Against Stem Cell Research

Decision means federal work can continue with embryonic stem cells
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 27, 2011 1:22 PM CDT
Embryonic Stem Cells Suit: Judge Dismisses Case Against Federal Research
In this 2008 file photo, a researchers pulls a frozen vial of human embryonic stem cells at the University of Michigan Center for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research Laboratory in Ann Arbor.   (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

(Newser) – A lawsuit that had threatened to end the Obama administration's funding of embryonic stem cell research was thrown out today, allowing the US to continue supporting a search for cures to deadly diseases over protests that the work relies on destroyed human embryos. The lawsuit claimed that research funded by the National Institutes of Health violated the 1996 Dickey-Wicker law that prohibits taxpayer financing for work that harms an embryo. But the administration policy allows research on embryos that were culled long ago through private funding.

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US District Judge Royce Lamberth last year said the lawsuit was likely to succeed and ordered a stop to the research while the case continued. But responding to a swift protest from the Obama administration, the US Circuit Court of Appeals here quickly overturned Lamberth's injunction and said the case was likely to fail. Lamberth said in his opinion today that he is bound by the higher court's analysis and ruled in favor of the administration. (Read more embryonic stem cells stories.)

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