Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Opponents of Administration’s Stem Cell Policy


Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Opponents of Administration’s
Stem Cell Policy

Legislative Update
January 7, 2013

This morning, the United States Supreme Court denied certiorari—review of the lower court decision—letting stand the Court of Appeals ruling against opponents of stem cell research and essentially ending this long litigation. Researchers can now proceed knowing that the Obama Administration’s policy on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research will remain in place and that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will continue its funding.

In March 2009, the Obama Administration issued an Executive Order expanding the embryonic stem cell policy to provide federal funding for research using stem cell lines created after August 2001-the date on which the Bush Administration issued its Executive Order limiting funding for research using stem cell lines already in existence at that time. At issue in the latest litigation was whether existing federal legislation known as the Wicker-Dickey amendment, which bans the use of federal dollars to support the creation of new stem cell lines by destroying embryos, also applied to federal funding for research using new stem cell lines that were created through private funding.