DeGette pushes stem cell bill despite court victory

"I am extremely pleased that with this decision, scores of researchers across the country have the stability and continuity to conduct their critical research," DeGette said in a statement. "However, the lawsuit's impact over the past year demonstrated once again how political gamesmanship can suddenly interrupt the path of stem cell discovery. 

"The potential and promise of ethical embryonic stem cell research is too important for too many patients across our nation to leave it vulnerable to the whims of Washington and extreme agendas. Therefore, I promise to continue to work tirelessly to pass legislation codifying these federal guidelines, and once and for all remove uncertainty for researchers and the patients who await their life-saving discoveries."

The appellate court had ruled that embryonic stem cell research did not appear to violate the 1996 Dickey-Wicker Amendment that prohibits research spending when a human embryo is damaged or destroyed. The appellate said the meaning of the term "research" was ambiguous.

One judge on the District Court panel dissented Wednesday, saying the court was repeating the appellate court's "linguistic jujitsu." That "may be true," Chief Judge Royce Lamberth acknowledged in his memorandum opinion, but "such is life for an antepenultimate court."