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August 24, 2010

Court: Federal Funds May Not Be Used in Research Which Kills Human Embryos;
Another Obama End Run Around Congress Halted By the Courts

We've talked before about President Obama's tendency to use an expansive (read: lawless) interpretation of executive powers to avoid Congressional commands. That tendency was highlighted this summer when the courts had to step in and block the Obama Administration's arbitrary and capricious oil drilling moratorium. A few weeks later, a court blocked the Obama Administration's unlawful attempt to end the Yucca Mountain project over Congress' express wishes.

Yesterday, another court blocked the Obama Administration from funding embryonic stem cell research that requires the destruction of human embryos. Here's the decision (PDF) (which explained the stem cell debate with a lot more clarity than I've seen elsewhere).

In short, every year as part of the Health and Human Services appropriation Congress passes an amendment that prohibits, among other things, "research in which a human embryo or embryos are destroyed, discarded, or knowingly subjected to risk of injury or death greater than that allowed for research on fetuses in utero."

That didn't stop Obama's HHS from issuing new "guidelines" that trample on Congress' yearly amendment prohibiting research in which an embryo is destroyed. So yesterday, a district court judge issued an injunction to put a stop to the President's end run around Congress:

In sum, plaintiffs have demonstrated a strong likelihood of success on the merits. The Dickey-Wicker Amendment is unambiguous. It prohibits research in which a human embryo is destroyed, discarded, or knowingly subject to risk of injury or death greater than that allowed under applicable regulations. The Guidelines violate that prohibition by allowing federal funding of ESC research because ESC research depends up on the destruction of a human embryo.

Of course, liberals are now feigning shock in the papers:

The ruling came as a shock to scientists at the National Institutes of Health and at universities across the country, which had viewed the Obama administration’s new policy and the grants provided under it as settled law. Scientists scrambled Monday evening to assess the ruling’s immediate impact on their work.

“I have had to tell everyone in my lab that when they feed their cells tomorrow morning, they better use media that has not been funded by the federal government,” said Dr. George Q. Daley, director of the stem cell transplantation program at Children’s Hospital Boston, referring to food given to cells. “This ruling means an immediate disruption of dozens of labs doing this work since the Obama administration made its order.”

Boo hoo. The President cannot just ignore Congress' express order that this activity is not to be funded. He can go back to the Hill and change the law, but he can't just pretend that his own radical departure from Congress' express wishes is "settled law."


digg this
posted by Gabriel Malor at 09:44 AM

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