The Federal Court of Appeals has reinstated a lawsuit that seeks to block federal funding of research that involves the destruction of human embryos, finding that doctors doing adult stem cell research have ‘competitive standing’ to sue.

The lawsuit, Sherley et al. v. Sebelius et al., had been heard in U.S. District Court on October 14, 2009, and had been dismissed with a decision that the plaintiffs lacked standing. The lawsuit is brought by a broad coalition of plaintiffs, including two adult stem cell scientists—Dr. James L. Sherley, a senior scientist at the Boston Biomedical Research Institute; and Dr. Theresa Deisher, the founder, managing member, and research and development director of AVM Biotechnology.

A 3-judge panel of the Appeals Court reversed the order of the District court regarding lack of standing, and returned the case to the District Court for further proceedings.