Plaintiffs in Proposition 71 Lawsuits Will Pursue Trial
Lawyers for opponents of Proposition 71 on Wednesday said they could still win at trial, despite a ruling on Tuesday by a Superior Court judge that lawsuits filed against the measure fail to establish a clear argument, the San Francisco Chronicle reports (Hall, San Francisco Chronicle, 12/1).
In the ruling, Judge Bonnie Sabraw wrote, "The Supreme Court has stated that it is the court's solemn duty to uphold an initiative, resolving all doubts in its favor, unless its unconstitutionality clearly, positively and unmistakably appears." Sabraw wrote that plaintiffs in the cases -- People's Advocate, the National Tax Limitation Foundation and the California Family Bioethics Council -- have "not satisfied" that "substantial test."
However, Sabraw also denied requests that the cases be dismissed, writing that allegations could not be resolved "on the face of the pleadings or through consideration of judicially noticed matters" (California Healthline, 11/30).
The decision means the cases will proceed to trial, which will further delay state financing of the stem cell institute. Sabraw scheduled a conference for Tuesday to discuss arrangements for the trial, which she said will be held promptly, the New York Times reports.
Robert Klein, chair of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, said it could be another year until the case is resolved because whoever loses the trial likely will appeal (Pollack, New York Times, 12/1).
Proposition 71 "left inevitable gaps in areas of ethics and accountability," but "the will of California voters should be permitted to move forward" while the Legislature works "hard to close those gaps," according to a San Jose Mercury News editorial (San Jose Mercury News, 12/1).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.