Gov’t files for emergency stay in stem cell case

The United States Department of Justice filed an appeal and an emergency motion this afternoon for a stay in Sherley v. Sibelius, the stem cell case under which an injunction issued last week Monday. That injunction prevents the NIH and other federal agencies from funding or considering to fund stem cell research, and has derailed many grants that were in the pipeline for consideration.

The DOJ requests that the D.C. District Court stay its injunction pending an appeal before the next highest court, the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

The Court has ordered the plaintiffs file any opposition to the motion by Friday, Sep. 3, a date suggested by the defendants. The DOJ has asked the Court to rule on their emergency motion for a stay by Tuesday, Sep. 7, and asks that the plaintiffs file their brief in opposition by Friday, Sep. 3.

DOJ spokesman Tracy Schmaler said in a statement, “The court’s order causes irrevocable harm to the millions of extremely sick or injured people who stand to benefit from continuing research, as well as to the taxpayers who have already spent hundreds of millions of dollars on this research through public funding of projects which will now be forced to shut down.”

Counsel for the plaintiffs, James L. Sherley and Theresa Deisher, could not be reached this afternoon.