Sandy Hook

Sandy Hook

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Two Separate But Equally Good Court Decisions Today: Gays in the Military and Stem Cell Research

From the New York Times:

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) -- A federal judge in Southern California on Thursday declared the U.S. military's ban on openly gay service members unconstitutional because it violates the First Amendment rights of gay and lesbians.

U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips granted a request for an injunction halting the government's ''don't ask, don't tell'' policy for gays in the military.

Phillips said the policy doesn't help military readiness and instead has a ''direct and deleterious effect'' on the armed services.

The lawsuit was the biggest legal test of the law in recent years and came amid promises by President Barack Obama that he will work to repeal the policy.

Government lawyers argued Phillips lacked the authority to issue a nationwide injunction and the issue should be decided by Congress.
From the Washington Post:
An appeals court Thursday lifted a temporary injunction barring the federal government from funding research involving human embryonic stem cell research. 
A three-judge panel of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia granted a request from the Justice Department to stay an injunction issued Aug. 23 blocking the funding. In a major victory for supporters of the research, the court said the Obama administration could resume funding the research pending a full appeal of the case.

U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth, ruling in a lawsuit filed by two researchers working on alternatives to the cells, said the funding violated a federal rule that prohibits federal tax money from being used for research that involves the destruction of human embryos.


  1. Regarding DADT, President Obama could make short work of repealing the policy by dictating an executive rescission order and signing it. Everything else is callow political dawdling.

    It's good that the forces of darkness and backwardness lost one in the courts on stem cell research. As with women's right to autonomy over their own body, it's probably one more link in an endless chain of legal battles. Expect this decision to lead to another court action.

    Such conflicts do plenty to keep law schools and law firms in business.

  2. SW is exactly right-all you have to do is look at what Harry S. Truman did in 1948.

    In other news, I hear Maggie Gallagher is presently scraping her brains off the ceiling after her unfortunate cranial eruption.

  3. S.W.: You're probably right about Obama making an executive recission order. I wish he would do just that. But as far as stem cell research, isn't these endless legal battles through the courts the way it's always worked? We can only hope that a couple of those old farty Republicans retire before it works its way to SCOTUS.

    JR: Har har, that's a god one.

  4. It was good news. For me just another baby step towards sanity.

  5. Thanks, Leslie. It’s nice to find some real news as opposed to the latest on Lindsay Lohan or Paris Hilton. BJ

  6. Unfortunately I fear that this ongoing legal bickering over stem-cell research will end up seriously impeding technological progress in this country even if it's ultimately resolved on the side of sanity. Research projects are long-term endeavors and can't operate properly under intermittent legal threats to funding. If we can't provide our best minds with a stable environment in which to do their work, other countries will be happy to make them offers. Recall how much research left here for Britain during the Bush years.

    Science cannot flourish under political interference from ideological nitwits. Just ask any geneticist who was trying to work in the Soviet Union after Stalin got infatuated with Lysenkoism.

  7. On the DADT, all Obama has to do is direct Holder not to appeal the decision. If there is no appeal, DADT is dead.

    Great news on the research.

  8. After the last few crappy decisions, I'm cheered by these two - if nothing else, to signal that all our judges haven't been bought.

    But I agree with you, Infidel. This on-again, off-again funding is causing havoc amongst researchers of all types and we risk losing them to countries that have a healthier respect for research.