Federal judge tosses suit aimed at blocking stem cell research funding

A federal judge on Wednesday threw out a lawsuit that sought to block the funding of human embryonic stem cell research.

The ruling follows an April appeals court decision that lifted an injunction on such funding that had been imposed in the same lawsuit. In his 38-page opinion on Wednesday, Chief U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth sided with the U.S. government in seeking to have the lawsuit dismissed.

The lawsuit was brought by two researchers who sought to halt expansion of federally funded experiments human embryonic stem cells. The suit was filed in response to a 2009 decision by the Obama administration that had reversed earlier restrictions and made it possible for scientists to obtain money to experiment on many more existing colonies of stem cells.

Lamberth had initially ruled against the researchers and threw the case out of court; he was reversed on appeal. In 2010, Lamberth ruled in the researchers’ favor, issuing a preliminary injunction to halt such expanded research.

However, in April, a three-judge appellate panel reversed the judge for a second time. In his opinion issued on Wednesday, Lamberth wrote that he had little choice but to throw out the suit in light of the latest appeals court decision.

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