by Steven Ertelt
May 17, 2007
Sacramento, CA (LifeNews.com) — The California Supreme Court rejected a lawsuit filed by pro-life and taxpayers groups saying that the state’s stem cell research agency is running afoul of oversight and accountability laws. The decision allows the agency to move forward with billions in grants for human cloning and embryonic stem cell research.
The state’s high court decided against reviewing a state appeals court ruling from February that upheld the legality of the state’s multibillion dollar embryonic stem cell research program
The appeals court had said the statewide ballot proposal and committee it created were legal despite a lawsuit saying the panel doesn’t abide by all state laws.
California Family Bioethics Council, the lead plaintiff, argued that the panel does not have proper oversight from the state on spending its monies, as required by the state constitution.
They also contend the members of the committee were chosen on the basis of their affiliations with certain institutions, not on the basis of their personal qualifications.
The lawsuit had prevented the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine from spending the $3 billion state voters authorized for the controversial research. CIRM couldn’t sell bonds to raise the funds because they would have been worthless had state court’s declared the agency unconstitutional.
State Treasurer Bill Lockyer spokesman Tom Dresslar told AP that his boss "intends to move as quickly as possible" in getting the money to the destructive research.
Dana Cody, an attorney for the Life Legal Foundation, a pro-life law firm and another plaintiff, told AP she wasn’t surprised by the decision.
"I’m really sad that California taxpayers are going to be funding experimental research when there’s been great strides made in adult stem cell research," she said.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger applauded the state Supreme Court’s decision, saying, "Today’s action by the California Supreme Court is a victory for our state because potentially lifesaving science can continue without a shadow of legal doubt."
The California Family Bioethics Council, a project of the California Family Council, the People’s Advocate and the National Tax Limitation Foundation both filed suits.
In 2004, California voters signed off on Proposition 71 to borrow $3 billion to finance embryonic stem cell research and human cloning projects.
The case is California Family Bioethics Council v. California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, A114195.