District Court Dismisses Stem Cell Ban Suit

On July 27, in Sherley v. Sibelius, Judge Royce Lamberth reversed himself, and dismissed the 2010 lawsuit that initially led to a freeze on Government funding for human embryonic stem cell research, conducted under the terms of the 2009 NIH Guidelines. His decision tracks the reasoning of  an April 29th decision by the Court of Appeals that lifted the injunction that he had imposed on the implementation of the Guidelines (See, my post of May 2, 2011: “Appeals Court Overturns Stem Cell Ban”).  The Guidelines had been formulated to implement President Obama’s executive order 13505 that, in turn, lifted Bush’s 2001 Executive Order banning such funding.

The Court of Appeals had found that the preliminary injunction was improperly granted and the Guidelines were not in conflict with the 1996 Dickey-Wicker Act, banning funding for certain research involving human embryos. The plaintiffs’ counsel, Steven H Aden of the Alliance Defense Fund, a pro-life “legal alliance of Christian attorneys”,  was quoted by the WSJ as considered their options for appeal, and called embryonic stem cell research “illegal and unethical” in a story on the ADF website.

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