Judge Upholds Stem Cell Funding Ban

A federal judge ruled Tuesday that the Obama administration cannot continue to fund embryonic stem cell research while they attempt to appeal an August decision that banned the government from supporting such research. The Justice Department has said that any ban on funding stem cell research will cause irreparable harm to researchers and taxpayers as well as delay the progression of the science. U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth on August 23rd issued an order to stop government funding of any activity that uses cells taken from human embryos, citing the 1996 Dickey-Wicker Amendment that former President George W. Bush used in 2001 to squash stem cell research. President Obama overturned Bush's executive order last year, but Lamberth said Obama cannot overturn the will of Congress, since they enacted the Dickey-Wicker Amendment, despite the fact that Congress has since approved funding. Following last month's ruling, new projects have already been halted due to withheld grants.