A federal appeals court in Washington will hear oral argument Sept. 27 in the government's challenge of a preliminary injunction that blocks funding for human embryonic stem cell research.
Justice Department lawyers want the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to stay enforcement of the injunction. The appeals court recently issued an administrative stay of Chief Judge Royce Lamberth’s ruling, which DOJ attorneys said threatens millions of dollars in ongoing research.
Judges Judith Rogers, Thomas Griffith and Brett Kavanaugh of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit will preside at the hearing, scheduled for 10 a.m. The panel said in an order this afternoon that the case will be heard in Courtroom No. 31, a much smaller venue than the ceremonial courtroom, where the court had planned to hear the dispute.
The court, acting on its own, had initially scheduled argument for Sept. 24. Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher partner Thomas Hungar, lead counsel for the plaintiffs, today asked the court to postpone the argument until Sept. 27. Hungar co-chairs the firm’s appellate and constitutional law practice group.
Hungar, who will argue the case for the plaintiffs, said in court papers he will be out of the country on a long-planned trip to Eastern Europe from Sept. 17 through the evening of Sept. 23. He urged the appeals court to hear the case Sept. 27 to allow him sufficient time to prepare for the hearing. DOJ attorneys didn’t object to the request.