Opponents of federal funding for embryonic stem cell research filed an appeal today in the D.C. Circuit from the district court’s decision dismissing their suit. A prior district court decision granted a preliminary injunction against HHS. But after a divided panel of the D.C. Circuit vacated the injunction on the ground that the plaintiffs were not likely to prevail, the district court (Chief Judge Lamberth) held that embryonic stem cell research is not unambiguously the sort of “research in which a human embryo or embryos are destroyed,” for which the Dickey-Wicker Amendment bars appropriations. Judge Henderson‘s dissent in the D.C. Circuit argued that her colleague’s argument involved “linguistic jujitsu,” but the district court concluded the majority’s “reasoning and conclusions” compelled a ruling for HHS on the merits.
Sherley v. Sebelius, No. 10-5287
(Hat tip: Michelle Olsen @AppellateDaily)
- Tom Schoenberg, Embryonic Stem Cell Research Opponents Appeal Funding Ruling (Bloomberg Sept. 20, 2011)
- U.S. Scientists Appeal on Embryonic Stem Cell Funding (Reuters Sept. 20, 2011)
- Robyn Hagan Cain, Plaintiffs File Embryonic Stem Cell Research Notice in DC Circuit (FindLaw DC Circuit Blog Sept. 23, 2011)