The WSJ reports that rival players are back in the appellate courts to contest Judge Royce Lamberth's August ruling that federally funded stem cell research was illegal. The lawyer for the two scientists filing the suit argued two points:
- Federal grants to fund stem cell research induce the private sector to create more stem cells (and thus destroy more embryos).
- The two scientists, who work with adult stem cells, are harmed because the presence of embryonic stem cell funding means less for their field
Goverment lawyers contended that Congress intended to make a distinction between promoting the study of stem cells and the creation of stem cells - effectively the government supports the former and not the latter. Judge Thomas Griffith says the goverment's cases "rises or falls" with that distinction and questioned whether the two were intertwined.
Right now, it is not obvious which way the panel of three judges is leaning and the case can be expected to go on for some time.