In rejecting a challenge to President Obama's policy to continue embryonic stem cell research, the Supreme Court wisely chose Monday to further vital research over the interests of competing scientists and religious groups.
The court did not issue a decision. Instead, it rejected a petition to hear arguments in an appeal of a 2011 ruling by the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, which decided the National Institutes of Health could continue embryonic stem cell research from lines derived from already destroyed embryos.
Not surprisingly, it appears that the scientists who challenged the ruling had their own interests, not science, at heart. The two researchers work primarily on adult stem cell lines -- another form of stem cells with less potential for taking the shape of the host cells around them than do embryonic stem cells. Their success would have steered more federal dollars their way.
Other critics of the ruling, such as the Law of Life Project, claim that there are ethical issues with embryonic stem cell research, that it encourages the destruction of fertilized embryos and therefore destroys life. They are misinformed.