What is an embryo? Is “it” a human in the making, or is an embryo a human that is growing? Whatever the answer, some people cannot agree to disagree. Instead, they emphatically insist what they believe is a fact, and the rest of us must fund their belief. Therefore, we must, like it or not, unwilling pay for some very speculative research. At least, that was that case until yesterday.

A federal judge temporarily blocked the Obama administration Monday from using federal dollars to fund expanded human embryonic stem cell research, saying the research involves the destruction of embryos.

The ruling comes after the National Institutes of Health last year issued new guidelines permitting federal funding for research on certain stem cell lines that had already been created. (continued here)

What is interesting is why it has taken so long to get to this point. That is, since there is a law against the Federal funding of abortion, why didn’t the courts rule against it right away? Here is the answer.

The District Court previously dismissed the case, saying the plaintiffs did not have legal standing. (from here)

Think about that. If you are a taxpayer, and your government uses your money illegally, some judges don’t think you have the grounds to take your government to court.

Of course, the Obama administration will appeal. What is interesting is comparing press coverage.  The Fox News story begins.

The Obama administration will appeal a judge’s ruling that temporarily blocked federal funding for embryonic stem cell research.

Justice Department spokesman Matt Miller said Tuesday that the department will “soon” be filing its appeal in U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia, where the ruling came down Monday.

White House spokesman Bill Burton earlier said the administration was exploring all possible avenues “to make sure that we can continue to do this critical lifesaving research.” (continued here)

Whereas Reuters starts this way.

Stunned and disappointed Obama administration officials said on Tuesday they would appeal a federal court ruling that temporarily barred federal funding of embryonic stem cell research.

The administration will ask the U.S. Court of Appeals to lift the preliminary injunction issued on Monday, Justice Department spokesman Matthew Miller said. (continued here)

CNN (here) and Politico (here) also tell us how much the judge’s ruling stunned the Obama administration. Apparently, “stunned” is the word of the day for pack journalists.

–Tom Salmon

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