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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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About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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