On Monday, August 23, 2010 a US federal judge blocked the Obama administration from funding human embryonic stem cell research via the National Institutes of Health (NHS). The court ruled that the President Obama’s planned financial support Human Embryonic Stem Cell (HESC) research violates an existing federal law barring the use of taxpayer money for experiments that destroy human embryos.
So much for President Obama March 9, 2009 Executive Order 13505, with which he supposedly tried to fund the practice with taxpayer money.
From the Washington Post:
U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth issued a preliminary injunction that prohibits the National Institutes of Health from funding the research under the administration’s new guidelines, citing an appeals court’s ruling that the researchers who had challenged the less-restrictive policy have the legal standing to pursue their lawsuit.
The decision, a setback for one of the administration’s most high-profile scientific policies, was praised by opponents of the research.
The preliminary injunction will, if some vestige of the laws of America still exist, be followed with a final ruling that permanently blocks Obama’s directive. This is not because HESC research is wrong but because a President’s Executive Orders do not overrule the laws as created by the Congress and, therefor he cannot approve such funding when a law explicitly prohibits it.
That is a much more important point than whether or not Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research gets federal funding – unless one suddenly likes the idea of the “Imperial Presidency.”