August 23rd, 2010
04:35 PM ET
4 years ago

Judge stops federal funding of embryonic stem cell research

(Updated at 5:25 p.m.)

Washington (CNN) - A U.S. district judge granted a preliminary injunction Monday to stop federal funding of embryonic stem cell research that he said destroys embryos, ruling it went against the will of Congress.

The ruling by Judge Royce C. Lamberth was a blow to the Obama administration, which last year issued guidelines to allow federal funding for embryonic stem cell research.

Lamberth's ruling said all embryonic stem cell research involves destroying embryos, which violates the Dickey-Wicker Amendment included in federal spending bills.

"The Dickey-Wicker Amendment unambiguously prohibits the use of federal funds for all research in which a human embryo is destroyed," Lamberth's ruling said. "It is not limited to prohibit federal funding of only the 'piece of research' in which an embryo is destroyed. Thus, if ESC [embryonic stem cell] research is research in which an embryo is destroyed, the guidelines, by funding ESC research, violate the Dickey-Wicker Amendment."

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Filed under: Stem Cell Research
soundoff (64 Responses)
  1. Jilli

    Let me guess, he's a republican judge.

    August 23, 2010 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  2. Ed L

    another GOP fascist

    August 23, 2010 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  3. bob

    Ridiculous and the Republicans talk about legislating from the bench. This judge needs to be impeached.

    August 23, 2010 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  4. ART

    Religion will take us back into the dark ages

    August 23, 2010 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  5. Brad

    good, a judge who respects human life!!

    August 23, 2010 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  6. Marie MD

    Another right wing nut nazi judge!
    @brad – read up on the research before showing your complete ignorance hiding behind the bible and religion.

    August 23, 2010 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  7. BlackUSAguy

    I bet this comment won't make it because it is real. Against the Will of the Congress?
    F-k congress. This is against the will of GOD. Better yet lets use congress for research on how to be a srcew-up.

    August 23, 2010 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  8. water bearer

    To Brad:
    Considering that stem cell research is used to find cures for diseases which end human life, your comment that this judge "respects human life" isn't quite accurate . . . is it?

    August 23, 2010 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  9. Conservative Lie, People Die

    Fearmonger Republics are going to take us back to dark age–compatible with Victoria days or current Islamic practices.

    August 23, 2010 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  10. Sean

    Stem cell research doesn't always (or even regularly anymore) involve human fetal cells and certainly not from aborted fetal tissue. Not sure of the specifics of this case...but stop with the respecting life crap.

    August 23, 2010 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  11. Sarah -- nyc

    I don't get this at all.....republicans always fight for the rights of embryos yet they hate people unless they are of a certain skin color and age....do they not realize that the embryo they love today will grow into the person they hate tomorrow.

    August 23, 2010 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  12. edog

    Next time I hear a republican Senator talk about liberal judges who legislate from the bench, I am going to puke!!!

    Let's just see what 'Conservative' judges have done just this last 6 months.

    1. A conservative judge tied to the oil industry ruled against the Obama deep water drill freeze.

    2. This judge blocking funding for stem cell research

    PEOPLE!!! This is legislating from the bench!!! Where is the up roar from the REPUBLICANS!!!

    August 23, 2010 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  13. Sarah -- nyc

    Brad–your claim about respecting human life would make more sense if those on the right didn't despise people as much as they do.

    August 23, 2010 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  14. Upset in VA Still

    This is another example of what the right is doing to this country. The right always talks about our freedoms, but when it interferes with its so called religious values they want to snatch everyone's elses freedoms. These idiots do not need to in these offices making dumb decisions.

    August 23, 2010 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  15. T Rudder

    The will of Congress is expressed in Legislation, does the Judge quote any? Stem cell research is happening, ignorant judiciiary or ignorant president not withstanding.

    Maybe we can outsource this to research labs in India or China?

    August 23, 2010 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  16. Mark in the Heartland

    But going against the will of congress means you are on the side of the people of the US!

    August 23, 2010 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  17. nfl1

    What??? How can a judge claim to know the "will" of Congress??? Doesn't this "will" change each session???

    August 23, 2010 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  18. James

    GOOD

    I hope he comes down with a hidious painful death disease.

    Then he will be crying and begging for stemcell research.

    Of course he would fly overseas and have it done.

    How do you people like these crooks desiding millions should not have the chance to be cured because of THEIR beliefs- NOT YOURS.

    Get them the hell out of their jobs and run them out of town.

    August 23, 2010 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  19. Sniffit

    Against the "will of Congress"? Generally...and I know this hard for you GOPers to grasp...the "will of Congress" is called a STATUTE. No statute exists creating an outright ban of embryonic stem cell research. Note, however:

    H.R. 810, the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2005, which passed both chambers of the REPUBLICAN CONTROLLED CONGRESS, never became law because Bush vetoed it.

    The Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2007 was passed in April 2007 by both chambers of the DEMOCRATIC CONTROLLED CONGRESS, but Bush vetoed that as well.

    I would say that the "will of Congress," if not contained within a statute banning embryonic stem cell research outright, has been shown by the above and other actions to be open to the idea of limited, well-regulated funding of embryonic stem cell research.

    This judge really couldn't be more activist if the "will of Congress" was literally the basis for the decision...not to mention being dead wrong. Logically speaking, Bush's Executive Order that Obama revoked in 2009 wouldn't have been necessary whatsoever if a statute existed that bans embryonic stem cell research outright. It's worthy of note that, at the time Obama revoked it, approximately 59% of the public supported loosening those restrictions.

    Name the circuit and the judge and who appointed him/her, CNN. Do it. I'm guessing the petitioners shopped for a Bush appointee who would support Bush's agenda in this and who would rule in a manner that hands the whole thing over to a couple of other Bush appointees in the SCOTUS when it gets appealed. Could've been a Clinton appointee too I suppose...he wasn't a friend of this kind of research either.

    August 23, 2010 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  20. FRANK - LAS VEGAS

    Sounds like an activist republican judge! Just what America needs, a good ol' republican activist bible thumping judge to lead us back into the dark ages. Heal thy self, or if you can't do that, too bad because the GOP will take away your health insurance as well, so just die quickly. So I can hear the GOP already, there aren't any activist republican judges, NOT.

    Vote NO in NOvember to the party of NO.

    August 23, 2010 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  21. Sniffit

    More info:

    The Dicky-Wicker Amendment is included every year in the appropriateions bill and says the following:

    "None of the funds made available in this Act may be used for—(1) the creation of a human embryo or embryos for research purposes; or (2) research in which a human embryo or embryos are destroyed, discarded, or knowingly subjected to risk of injury or death."

    Obama signed the appropriations bill in 2009. Now, it is possible that CNN inartfully stated the judge's ruling and that the judge was ONLY upholding a ban on any embronic stem cell research that actually destroys the embryo. One would be correct in saying that is the will of Congress in light of the above.

    However, if what the judge did was rule that ALL embryonic stem cell research destroys embryos and then issued a blanket injuction against any funding of any embriyonic stem cell research whatsoever...well, that's quite a bit more iffy.

    August 23, 2010 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  22. Frank in Valparaiso Indiana

    Congress is filled with a bunch of superstitious bigots, sort of like the judiciary is filled with a bunch of pompous cross dressers who forgot everything they learned in law school.

    August 23, 2010 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  23. jay in denver

    If only they could use stem cells to grow spinal cord tissue in Democrats these guys might not be a problem.

    Rage, rage against the lying of the Right.

    August 23, 2010 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  24. Sniffit

    Soooo, the point is, hopefully this raises the question of whether the Dicky-Wicker Amendment should be repealed...and hopefully the Dems have the spine to do it. It was written in 1996 and has passed uncritically every year as part of the appropriations bill but our understanding of the research has grown exponentially since then. Congress shouldn't be doing things by rote and passing provisions without even looking at them...that much is clear.

    August 23, 2010 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    Judges that allow religious beliefs to influence their rulings r idiots.

    August 23, 2010 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
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