Today a US district court judge ruled that federal funding for research with human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) is in compliance with US law—signaling what may be the end of a long and bitter fight for the legitimacy of taxpayer-funded hESC research.
It all began in August 2009, when two scientists sued the Obama administration following the expansion of federal funding to include hESC research. They argued that the guidelines set by the National Institutes of Health for obtaining stem cells from the unused embryos of fertility clinics violated a federal law passed in 1996, which prohibits federal funding when an embryo has been destroyed for research purposes. In August 2010, US District Judge Royce Lamberth called for the halting of all funds for hESC research until the matter was settled—a decision that was overturned this past April by the US Court of Appeals.
Now, nearly a year after his original ruling, Lamberth has dismissed the law suit, citing that he was bound by the reasoning of the US Court of Appeals, NPR reports.