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Stem cell plaintiffs propose schedule

In a filing yesterday afternoon, James L. Sherley and Theresa A. Deisher, the two scientists suing the federal government to stop NIH-funded human embryonic stem cell research, have proposed a schedule for the long-stalled case to continue.

A months-long delay ended just over a week ago, when an appeals court dismissed a preliminary injunction that had banned federally funded stem cell research. That injunction had been issued by the District Court for the District of Columbia because the court concluded the stem cell researchers were likely to prevail on the merits of the case. The appeal over the injunction was argued in early December, and the decision was issued on April 29.

Sherley and Deisher propose to “file supplemental briefs in light of the [appeals court’s] opinion.” They asked the court to set the deadline for the stem cell researchers’ supplemental brief to be June 3. The government’s response would be due by June 24, and the researchers would be allowed a reply by July 6.

The government feels supplemental briefs should be limited to one brief per party, according to the researchers’ motion.

John A. Hawkinson