Stem Cell Trial Ends
The trial to determine the constitutionality of Proposition 71 -- a $3 billion stem cell research initiative approved by voters in 2004 -- concluded on Thursday, the Los Angeles Times reports (Los Angeles Times, 3/3). The trial lasted less than four days (Vesely, Oakland Tribune, 3/3).
Alameda County Superior Court Judge Bonnie Sabraw, who is deciding the case, is expected to issue a ruling a few weeks after March 15 (Kleffman, Contra Costa Times, 3/3). According to the Tribune, attorneys submitted written closing arguments on Thursday (Oakland Tribune, 3/3). Attorneys have until March 15 to submit reply briefs.
Whichever party is not favored in the ruling will have 30 days to seek a review from an appeals court, according to state deputy attorney general Tamar Pachter (Contra Costa Times, 3/3).
Closing arguments were submitted in writing to the court Thursday
The decision likely will be appealed regardless of how Sabraw rules, the New York Times reports.
Independent Citizens' Oversight Committee Chair Robert Klein said it could take 12 to 18 months to resolve the litigation and release Proposition 71 funds (Pollack, New York Times, 3/3).
Plaintiffs in the stem cell trial are using an "abusive" legal strategy "just to create a delay" in the issuance of Proposition 71 bonds, Russell Korobkin, a law professor at the University of California, Los Angeles and senior fellow at the UCLA Center for Society and Genetics, writes in a Los Angeles Times opinion piece.
The court "should have dismissed the stem cell lawsuit months ago because it clearly lacks legal merit," Korobkin states, adding, "This overly cautious decision" to hear the case "did a disservice to the California voters who approved Proposition 71."
Korobkin concludes that the "Court of Appeals, and if necessary the state Supreme Court, should ... dispose of the case expeditiously to halt this abuse of the legal system" (Korobkin, Los Angeles Times, 3/3).