The Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has announced the schedule for the appeal of the stem cell lawsuit seeking a ban on National Institutes of Health sponsored research on human embryonic stem cells (H/T ScienceInsider). Oral arguments will take place on April 23. This suggests that the earliest a decision would come down is in the fall of 2012. This means the likely Supreme Court appeal won’t get a hearing until the 2012-13 term, which runs from October to June.
Each of the three judges on the panel were appointed by Republican presidents. Additionally, one of the judges ruled in favor of the plaintiffs in the case when the Appeals Court ruled on an injunction that would have barred research while the lawsuit was being decided. However, judging in favor of the plaintiffs in this matter may be tricky, unless there’s a way for the Court to disregard the rationale in its earlier decision. But we have a few months to debate that possibility before a ruling and a pretty likely appeal to the Supreme Court.