A federal appeals court has ruled in favor of a lower court's decision, throwing out a lawsuit that challenged the Obama administration's funding of embryonic stem-cell research. A three-judge panel for the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia upheld the lower court ruling that dismissed the suit challenging the funding which President George Bush had severely restricted during his administration.
As reported by LifeNews.com, the lawsuit had argued that “Obama’s executive order forcing taxpayer funding violated the 1996 Dickey-Wicker law that prohibits taxpayer [funding] of any scientific research that results in the destruction of human embryos, unborn children at their earliest days of life.” The latest ruling means that under Obama's edict, tax money will continue to fund research on stem cells derived from embryos created by in vitro fertilization.
In August 2010, U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth ruled that the executive order by Obama overturning the Bush administration's ban on funding of embryonic stem-cell research was a probable violation of the Dickey-Wicker amendment. Lamberth rejected arguments by the Obama administration that the wording of the amendment is ambiguous and thus allows federal funding for research on stem cells after they have been removed from embryos.
But in April 2011, the D.C. appeals court sided with the Obama administration's ambiguity argument, ruling that while the amendment “bars funding for the destructive act of deriving an [embryonic stem cell] from an embryo, it does not prohibit funding a research project in which an [embryonic stem cell] will be used.” That ruling, concluded Judge Lamberth three months later, “constrained” him to dismiss the suit, a ruling that the appeals court panel affirmed in its August 24 decision.
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