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AAMC Joins Amicus Brief in AETA Lawsuit

March 23, 2012—The AAMC joined the National Association for Biomedical Research (NABR) and nine other organizations in submitting an amicus brief affirming the constitutionality of the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA, P.L. 109-374) under the First and Fifth Amendment. The brief, submitted in a federal lawsuit challenging the law’s constitutionality, urges the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts to uphold the law and argues that AETA is a measured response to threats, bombings, arson, and vandalism committed by animal rights extremists against research facilities and scientists who conduct life-saving research with laboratory animals.

As the brief describes, Congress passed the law in 2006 with bipartisan support, in response to a history of threatening and violent actions committed by animal rights extremists seeking to end research using animals. The brief emphasizes that AETA was drafted to protect research facilities, individual researchers, and their families, while ensuring that lawful advocacy and demonstration are expressly protected.

Other organizations joining the brief include the Association of American Universities, Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, Massachusetts Biotechnology Council, Massachusetts Society for Medical Research, the General Hospital Corporation d/b/a Massachusetts General Hospital, the Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Inc., and the McLean Hospital Corporation.


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Washington Highlights, a weekly electronic newsletter, features brief updates on the latest legislative and regulatory activities affecting medical schools and teaching hospitals.

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Jason Kleinman
Sr. Legislative Analyst, Govt. Relations
Telephone: 202-903-0806