Thursday, November 13, 2008

Stem cell lawsuit dismissed

A state trial judge dismissed a lawsuit Wednesday filed by critics of embryonic stem cell research who wanted to block $21 million in state funds from going to life sciences research.

Cole County Circuit Judge Richard Callahan ruled that no genuine legal dispute existed yet and that the lawsuit amounted to a request for an advisory opinion.

Missouri Roundtable for Life, which filed the lawsuit earlier this year, vowed to appeal and threatened to sue anyone who receives the research grants. The group is concerned that those grants could go to support embryonic stem cell research.

"We will not let tax dollars go unrestricted to these groups that are privately controlled and may be used to make profits off abortions and research the legislature banned," said Fred Sauer, the group's founder.

Sauer was represented by Ed Martin, Gov. Matt Blunt's former chief of staff. Martin had said a 2006 amendment to the Missouri Constitution clarifying the legal status of stem cell research makes unclear the validity of existing limits on what kinds of research can receive the life sciences grants.

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