LLDF Lawyers Represent Taxpayers Groups in Attack on California Stem Cell Research and Cures Act

In November 2004, California voters passed Proposition 71. This proposition created the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine and its governing body, the Independent Citizens’ Oversight Committee (“ICOC”).

On behalf of two taxpayers’ groups, People’s Advocate and National Tax Limitation Foundation, LLDF’s lawyers filed a Petition for a Writ of Mandate in the California Supreme Court seeking to have the Act establishing the ICOC declared to be in violation of Article XVI, Section 3, of the California Constitution because the state could not exercise exclusive management and control of the spending of the money authorized to be raised through the issuance of $3 billion in bonds over the next ten years.

In his response, the California Attorney General disputed the merits of our Petition, but asked the Supreme Court to take the case, stating that: “Absent a prompt and final adjudication of the merits of this petition, the State will be unable to market the bonds pursuant to Proposition 71.” The Attorney General further argued that: “If this challenge is diverted to the superior court, the delay in implementation of the voters’ will as expressed in Proposition 71 could take four years or more to resolve. Thus, just the pendency of the petition will accomplish through delay what the opponents of Proposition 71 could not accomplish on the merits: it will stymie implementation of the Act.”

On March 23, 2005, the Supreme Court denied our petition, noting that an action could be filed in the Superior Court. On April 6, 2005, we filed an action in Superior Court in Alameda County asking for a declaratory judgment that the Act is unconstitutional and for an injunction enjoining its implementation. The Attorney General filed an answer asserting a general denial of our allegations and a motion for judgment on the pleadings, set for hearing on July 14. We expect that the case will proceed in the normal manner.