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Request for stay of stem cell injunction denied

The Nature blog The Great Beyond is reporting that the U.S. District Court judge who issued an injunction against the use of federal funding for human embryonic stem cell research has refused a government request for a temporary stay.

Judge Royce Lamberth derided the idea that the injunction could cause irreparable harm to ongoing research projects and pointed out that if, as expected, the plantiffs file for a summary judgment this week, the case could be decided within the next two months:

Defendants are incorrect about much of their "parade of horribles" that will supposedly result from this Court's preliminary injunction. . . . Additionally, since plaintiffs anticipate filing their motion for summary judgment by September 10, (id. at 13 n.4,) the length of time this preliminary injunction will be in place should be limited.

The judge's order seems to agree with from the plantiffs' Saturday response to the administration's request for a stay (also reported by The Great Beyond) in which they also criticize National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins' response to the injunction:

Defendants' claims of irreparable harm absent a stay rest on speculation, misinformation, and hyperbole," the memorandum says, adding in a footnote, "In addition, the Collins declaration is replete with exaggerations and factual mischaracterizations.

You can read the full text of Judge Lamberth's decision here (.pdf).

Previously: Judge Lamberth's stem cell opinion is disappointingly bad, Stem cell ruling throws Stanford researcher's project into limbo, AAMC urges Congress to reinstate federal funding for human embryonic stem cell research, and Stanford stem cell expert weighs in on district court ruling

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