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Turning Out The Lights On Stem Cell Research?

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  • Turning Out The Lights On Stem Cell Research?

    #97 Tuesday, February 28, 2006 - TURNING OUT THE LIGHTS ON STEM CELL RESEARCH?

    By Don C. Reed,

    From our Reporter on the ground
    you should have seen the opposition!

    They hemmed and hawed, and had long painful silences while they apparently tried to think up something to say—and lots of water drinking, lots of lengthy pauses to locate the water container right beside them, and pour out some water, and raise the glass and wait a little more…

    Now maybe the lawyers attacking the California stem cell program have some brilliant cunning plan up their sleeves, which will emerge in the coming weeks. These are top lawyers, whose words cost five bucks a minute (assuming they make $300 an hour, probably a low estimate) and they will absolutely earn their pay.

    And they are delaying the research, which they have for a year, so in a way they are already winning.

    But in terms of the court case, if yesterday was the best they have?

    They tried to blow up blurry small-print documents on the courtroom monitor, and it was just not readable in any practical sense, and they repeatedly apologized for the illegibility.

    The problem may well have been with the monitor.

    But it felt like they were showing us something indecipherable, and saying, trust us, this document you cannot read is very bad. On the basis of this, throw out the stem cell research program.

    That was pretty much how the day went.
    One of their two presenting lawyers, David Llewellyn, made his opening remarks, which were supposed to be about 15 minutes. (Our side, California deputy district attorney Tamar Pachter, presented the case clearly, succinctly—and devastatingly—in fifteen minutes.)

    Mr. Llewellyn, however, asked for, and received, permission to speak for an additional 45 minutes—then went on an hour—and then requested another 30 minutes.

    He read letters criticizing the stem cell research program, quoted people who objected to various aspects of it, and in general sounded like someone who wanted to undo the election.

    But then I remembered. Of course, that is exactly what they do want!
    But if I had to sum up the first day of trial…

    It was like something that happened at a CIRM subcommittee meeting sometime back.

    One of our noisier opponents was leaning up against the wall, as he waited for the microphone.

    Doubtless he was considering his remarks; maybe he was just tired of waiting.

    But his elbow brushed against the light switch—click-- and plunged the room into darkness.

    It only stopped the meeting a few seconds, while he fumbled to turn the light switch back on.

    It was a complete accident, of course, and he apologized profusely.

    But that was what the opposition’s presentation felt like, on the first day of trial.

    Confusion, darkness, and delay, all of which they caused.

    While trying to turn the lights out, darkening stem cell research.

    Last edited by Faye; 02-28-2006, 05:09 PM.