Lawsuit Against Obama’s Embryonic Funding May Head to Supreme Court

Bioethics   |   David Prentice, Ph.D.   |   Jan 4, 2013   |   7:24PM   |   Washington, DC

If you’ve lost track of where things are with the federal lawsuit to stop taxpayer funding of destructive embryonic stem cell research, here’s the update.

The most recent action was filing by attorneys for Drs. Sherley and Deisher of a cert petition to the Supreme Court.  At this point everyone is waiting to hear whether the Supreme Court will take up the case.

Below are links to the various filings and some stories, going back in time to the origin of the case.


October 10, 2012





August 24, 2012

Appeals Court Decision


April 23, 2012

Appeals Court Oral Arguments

Oral Argument Transcript

Appellants’ Brief   Appendix v1   Appendix v2

Scholars’ Amicus Brief

Government Brief

AMR Amicus Brief

Appellants’ Reply Brief

Appeal Schedule Set in Federal Embryonic Stem Cell Lawsuit


September 19, 2011

Appeal Filed in Federal Embryonic Stem Cell Lawsuit


July 27, 2011

District Court Rules in Favor of Taxpayer Funding of Embryonic Stem Cell Research


April 29, 2011

U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in a 2-1 opinion overturned the preliminary injunction.


September 9, 2010

Appeals Court Stays Preliminary Injunction.


September 7, 2010

District Court Judge Lamberth refuses to lift Preliminary Injunction.




August 23, 2010

Judge Royce C. Lamberth of the U.S. District Court approved a Preliminary Injunction, ruling that human embryonic stem cell research could not receive federal taxpayer funding.

Judge Lamberth’s Opinion


August 19, 2009

Federal Lawsuit Filed Challenging Legality of NIH Guidelines

Attorneys Thomas G. Hungar, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher: Samuel B. Casey, Advocates International; Steven H. Aden, Alliance Defending Freedom filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of a group of plaintiffs including the Christian Medical Association and Dr. James L. Sherley, Boston Biomedical Research Institute, and Dr. Theresa Deisher, AVM Biotech, challenging the legality of the NIH Stem Cell Guidelines on several grounds.


July 7, 2009

NIH Stem Cell Guidelines Issued


March 9, 2009

President Barack Obama issued an Executive Order that rescinded President Bush’s policy on funding research using embryonic stem cells from embryos destroyed prior to August 9, 2001. The new Obama Executive Order authorized NIH to fund research using embryonic stem cells so long as the funds are not used, per the Dickey-Wicker appropriations provision, directly for destroying the embryos. The Executive Order would permit funding of research on embryonic stem cells from IVF embryos, as well as from cloned human embryos, human-animal hybrid embryos, and human parthenogenetic embryos.