The Federal appeal court of Judges Thomas Griffith, Brett Kavanaugh, and Judith Rogers heard oral arguments from the government lawyer, Beth Brinkmann and plaintiff lawyer, Thomas Hungar, representing the two adult stem cell researchers who brought suit.
The Judges drilled government lawyers on questions as to what real harm hESC researchers would experience if they had to hold research while case decided, and why derivation of stem cells was 'not ok' to be funded by NIH but hESC research using these cells was 'ok'.
Conversely, the Judges also pointed out to Hungar that the Dickey-Wicker amendment was passed with embryo research in mind and not hESC work. They also noted that the NIH had consistently made the distinction that it would NOT fund stem cell derivation work.
Observers indicated that the Judges seemed well informed on the issues. They were unsure which way the panel was leaning. A decision is expected this week as to whether a stay of Judge Lambert's original ruling will remain in place or be lifted - continued research while case is being litigated further or stoppage.
Posted by Bruce Lehr September 28th 2010.