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Ruling on Suits Challenging Legality of California Stem Cell Institute

Written by on Thursday, December 1st, 2005

Stem Cell advocates suffered another setback yesterday, when Alameda County Superior Court Judge Bonnie Sabraw denied a motion to dismiss two lawsuits challenging the legality of the state’s stem cell institute, the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (“CIRM”). The ruling means that funding for the CIRM will continue to be blocked into next year, and that the CIRM will have to continue to operate with only the $3 million loan from the state and a $5 million grant from the founder of Dolby Laboratories. Robert Klein, chair of the CIRM, has said that the agency has only enough money to operate until May, 2006.

As a transactional lawyer who has some familiarity with the litigation process, I wonder if five months is really enough time to resolve these suits and fund the CIRM. It would not surprise me in the least if five months from now we find ourselves watching as the CIRM closes its doors and lays off all of its employees and Proposition 71 becomes just another failed experiment. The test for California will be to see if the public will come to the CIRM’s rescue. Do Californians really believe in the concept of stem cell research enough to keep Proposition 71 alive?

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