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Stem Cell Plaintiffs Described As “Fumbling” on First Day of Trial

Written by on Tuesday, February 28th, 2006

The Stem Cell Trial opened today in Alameda County, California–apparently without any fireworks.

California Stem Cell Report
Blogger David Jensen, who is closely following the proceedings, wrote of the day’s events:

The case of the CIRM foes moved slowly on Monday with fumbling over exhibits and evidence, tedious readings of long and short documents and a lengthy opening statement that tested the patience of Alameda Superior Court Judge Bonnie Lewman Sabraw. . . . CIRM’s opponents did seem ill-prepared and poorly organized. But this was day one in the nonjury trial, which is certain to be appealed and ultimately not resolved for another 12 months or so. And a fumbling, country-boy routine may be part of the strategy.

Clearly, Jensen’s characterization of CIRM opponents on this first day of trial was not a favorable one. Based on his commentary, one would think that CIRM opponents did a good job today of reinforcing themselves as the archetypical stereotype of conservative, right-wing Christian, country bumpkins. As a transplanted Southerner from a part of the country that is often viewed by my fellow Californians as mere “Flyover Country,” I cringe a bit at the imagery. It goes without saying that Southerners are often seen through a similar light.

Having said that, there is little doubt that serious religious and political value questions are fundamentally entangled in this stem cell debate, and perhaps even at the heart of this legal dispute, as suggested by Jensen through his remarks. The question for the court of law and of public opinion is whether there is anything more to this legal dispute than mere politics and religious issues. It doesn’t sound as though Plaintiffs got off to a very good start today in proving their case.

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