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Judge Stops Federal Funding of Embryonic Stem Cell Research

CNN,  Aug 23, 2010
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Washington (CNN) — A U.S. district judge granted a preliminary injunction Monday to stop federal funding of embryonic stem cell research that he said destroys embryos, ruling it went against the will of Congress.

The ruling by Judge Royce C. Lamberth was a blow to the Obama administration, which last year issued guidelines to allow federal funding for embryonic stem cell research.

Lamberth's ruling said all embryonic stem cell research involves destroying embryos, which violates the Dickey-Wicker Amendment included in federal spending bills.

"The Dickey-Wicker Amendment unambiguously prohibits the use of federal funds for all research in which a human embryo is destroyed," said the ruling by Lamberth, who was nominated to the federal bench by then-President Ronald Reagan in 1987. "It is not limited to prohibit federal funding of only the 'piece of research' in which an embryo is destroyed. Thus, if ESC [embryonic stem cell] research is research in which an embryo is destroyed, the guidelines, by funding ESC research, violate the Dickey-Wicker Amendment."

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