Judge Temporarily Blocks Federally Funded Embroynic Stem Cell Research
U.S. Chief District Court Judge Royce Lamberth ruled that government funding of embryonic stem-cell research violates a law — known as the Dickey Wicker Amendment– that bans using federal money for research in which an embryo is destroyed.
“The Dickey-Wicker Amendment unambiguously prohibits the use of federal funds for all research in which a human embryo is destroyed,” Lamberth wrote. “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.”
The ruling deals a setback to President Obama’s efforts to expand federal funding for stem cell science. In March 2009, Mr. Obama signed an [executive order]( http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/health/jan-june09/cellsreport_03-09.html) overturning an 8-year-old ban on federal funding for all embryonic stem cell research, except on the few lines that already existed in 2001.
NPR has an explanation of the how federal law on embryonic stem cell research has evolved since the Clinton administration.
And our PBS colleagues over at NOVA have this breakdown on the politics of stem cells.
The U.S. Department of Justice and the White House had no immediate comment on the ruling. We’ll have more reaction to the move on the Rundown Tuesday.