California stem cell program is legal: Judge

Challengers vow to appeal, making agency's future uncertain

Gordy Slack
Apr 23, 2006
Hayward, Ca. -- A state judge ruled California's $3 billion embryonic stem cell research program constitutional on Friday (April 21), rejecting claims that the publicly funded initiative is illegal. The program's challengers immediately vowed to appeal, suggesting its legal woes are far from over. After six weeks of deliberation, Judge Bonnie Sabraw ruled that the "plaintiffs have not shown that the act is clearly, positively, and unmistakably unconstitutional," and that "the act and the bonds issued ? are valid.''The defeated suit alleged that the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) governing body is too independent to constitute a true government agency, and so should not be allowed to spend state tax funds. It also claimed that since many members of CIRM's grant review committee are stem cell researchers, or work at universities or businesses that will be applying for grants, conflicts of interest would be unavoidable. The California Institute for...

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