States brief ~ MO constitutional amendment proposed to protect stem cell research

[JURIST] Leading Tuesday's states brief, a coalition including medical professionals from the University of Missouri and Washington University, the American Diabetes Association and the Parkinson's Action Network [advocacy website] proposed a Missouri constitutional amendment that would specify that stem cell research, cures and therapies allowed under federal law are also allowed under state law. The proposal is in response to anti-abortion groups' effort to bar somatic cell nuclear transfer [Wikipedia backgrounder], a type of stem cell research. The coalition must gather at least 139,181 signatures to place the proposal on the November 2006 ballot, and Missouri Right to Life [advocacy website] said Tuesday that it will continue to push for a ban on the research. AP has more.

In other state legal news ...

  • The California Fourth District Court of Appeal heard oral arguments [case summary] today on whether two doctors who refused to artificially inseminate a lesbian violated state law. An attorney from the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund [advocacy website] claimed the action violated state anti-discrimination laws which cover sexual orientation, while an attorney for the two doctors argued that a lower court decision preventing religious freedom from being raised as a defense was incorrect. The court will issue its decision within 90 days. View Lambda Legal's case summary including case briefs and court opinions here. AP has more.

  • The Georgia Supreme Court [official website] heard oral arguments today on whether a new state law [text] that allows medical malpractice defendants to choose their home county as the lawsuit's venue is unconstitutional. In one case before the court, lawyers argued that a plaintiff has the right to choose venue and that the law unconstitutionally restricts that right. In a second case, arguments on a lower-court decision declaring the law unconstitutional took place. The medical malpractice law also caps pain-and- suffering awards at $350,000. AP has more.

 

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