Illinois Judge Won’t Block Governor’s Stem Cell Research Scam

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 16, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Illinois Judge Won’t Block Governor’s Stem Cell Research Scam Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 16, 2006

Springfield, IL ( — An Illinois judge has ruled that he won’t block an executive order Gov. Rod Blagojevich issued to spend millions of taxpayer dollars on unproven embryonic stem cell research, unbeknownst to state lawmakers.

Cook County Judge James Henry said whether Blagojevich exceeded his constitutional authority by diverting $10 million in state funds to the controversial research is a matter for voters or the state legislature to decide.

"My view of this is it is clearly a political issue," Henry said. "This is not something the court should impose its opinion on. It’s a political matter for the Legislature to decide."

Attorney Richard Caro, who filed the lawsuit against the governor, told the Chicago Sun-Times newspaper that he may consider appealing the decision to the Illinois Supreme Court on Monday.

"I want it fought out in the Legislature," Caro told Henry. "I want the public debate. We have to have the democratic system."

The state legislature previously voted against using tax dollars on embryonic stem cell research because it destroys human life and isn’t anywhere close to helping patients like adult stem cells have.

Knowing that, Blagojevich waited until lawmakers approved a state budget with money earmarked for unspecified "scientific research" before announcing his intent for it.

As a result of the ruling, governor’s Public Health Department will announced on Monday which research universities hospitals or scientists will get to share in the $10 million in taxpayer funded grants.

Blagojevich has proposed spending $100 million over five years on the controversial research but the plan is not expected to get approval from lawmakers.

Henry told the Chicago newspaper he also may amend his complaint to discuss how the public should be involved in deciding where the $10 million is spent.

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Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich –