Obama HESC Plan Balked

6-Day Old Human EmbryoOn 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.”

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10 Responses to “Obama HESC Plan Balked”

  1. zhann Says:

    The way I understood it, the judge overruled Obama not on the basis of improper use of the Executive order, but instead because of some previous ruling which disallows research that destroys embryos.

    I also understand that this does little to stop the research in general, but rather the government funding of the research, am I correct? I could care less if the government funds this type of research, so long as the research is allowed to continue. Of course, I have no problem with the government funding, and would love it if the government would spend more money on science research and MUCH LESS on military research, but unfortunately my opinions matter little.

  2. jonolan Says:


    It’s really the same thing. The judge ruled that the funding violated the law which once again upholds the principle that EO’s can’t overrule the law.

    As for the research itself – it’s really of limited benefit and has some nasty moral implications; HESC is mostly a dead-end from what I have seen with the possible exception of research into the life cycles of pathologies. It’s not going to be a means of curing anything.

    And “military research” is science and/or technology research, zhann. A great majority of the scientific advances that we enjoy daily came out of the civilian application of advances developed for military use.

  3. Curtal Friar Says:

    Yeah, I’m glad this came down.

    One of the things that used to infuriate me (and still does when I hear someone spouting off the nonsense) is someone ranting that the government is denying legitimate research by banning stem cell research. I tended to get an angry tone to my voice when confronting the idiot, asking him/her to show me exactly what law or statute prevents such research. Then when they start pointing to the fact that Bush cut off funds for such research, I then ask them to explain the difference between banning and funding. And so on.

    And those people were college students, some of them honor students, the best and brightest of their generation, so to speak. Lord help us all if they are that incapable of common sense and logical thought.

  4. jonolan Says:

    Well, from so many of their standpoints not funding equals banning since, in the minds of the Liberals and the students whose minds they’ve poisoned, all things come from the government. 😉

    But their thoughts are logical; they’re just based upon reams and reams of false postulates. The logic is mostly sound; it’s the premise that is very,very wrong.

    Thanks for stopping by.

  5. zhann Says:

    well, now i have to disagree entirely. the benefits of stem cell research are mind boggling. i am not sure why you say it wont cure anything, maybe you are referring to medicine of some kind, but its ability to fix the human body grow almost daily.

    as for military, you are going from curing to killing. military technology is simply in place to kill more people faster, the exact opposite of what stem cells are for. if i could, i would definitely switch budgets, but obviously some people may be a bit offended.

  6. jonolan Says:


    Overall stem cell research is very promising, but embryonic stem cell research has, so far, proven to be useful only for studying the life cycle of certain diseases and conditions and for studying cell proliferation itself. That’s of limited benefit and lacking in direct application.

    On the other hand, adult-derived stem cells can be used for that same research and are also showing great promise for actual medical treatments.

    As for military science – you might want to research the medical advances that came out of the military before making such statements. You might also want to think a bit about: microwave ovens, radar, nylon, silicone-based rubber, etc…

  7. zhann Says:

    You are being grossly unfair. Basic stem cell research has shown substantially more gains for two simple reasons, supply is far greater in basic stem cells, and research has been going on for substantially longer. Embryonic research is constantly in flux, hence progress is in constant flux.

    It is hard to deny the fact that embryonic stem cells have more potential over basic stem cells. Likewise, it seems wasteful to simply discard all the embryonic stem cells because of some bizarre religious beliefs.

    The research you cited primarily stemmed from NASA. If you consider NASA to be military, then I am in full agreement … but, since we are speaking budget, and NASA’s budget is in the low billions (not sure how much this year) while the military budget is made up of more than half of our gross national budget, i would be hard pressed to accept that relation.

  8. jonolan Says:

    I don’t believe that I’m being the least bit unfair, zhann, because you’re assertion that embryonic stem cells have more potential over basic stem cells has nothing to back it up scientifically, at least not yet. Adult-derived stem cells, on the other hand are already in the early stages of actual application.

    As for the research I cited stemming from NASA:

    — Radar – 1940 – US Navy
    — Microwave – 1946 – Raytheon
    — Nylon – 1938 – DuPont
    — Silicone Rubber – late ’30s through ’40s – multiple sources

    All of the above trace the roots of their invention to WW2 and our Military’s science research or trace the engineering breakthroughs to apply an earlier discovery in a practical way to the same.

    NASA wasn’t even thought of yet, and couldn’t be thought of without the advances developed for military purposes.

  9. KMJ Says:

    Bad crash! Tired! Will fill in the proper measures soon. Miss You Go onto “Kurt Horvat” facebook. For some serious stpidoity and fun..

    Aa far as stem cell?I We are Looking forward to Michael J. Fox on “the Good Wife” – mid-September. 🙂

  10. jonolan Says:

    Rest then come back. It’s been too long, but that’s my fault mostly.

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