Court Says Stem Cell Question OK for N.J. Ballot

A state appeals court has ruled that a Nov. 6 ballot question on a $450 million stem cell research program may not be perfectly worded, but it adequately and fairly tells voters about the plan.

With the ruling, the three-judge panel turned back abortion foes’ efforts to kill the measure, which they argued doesn’t mention cloning or describe the plan’s fiscal impact.

The court said it is unnecessary and indeed impossible to fairly summarize all views in a brief statement. Instead, such statements are meant to summarize questions in simple language.

“The religious and moral wisdom of the act cannot be encapsulated in an interpreted statement that would be both fair and balanced and still fit within the four corners of the ballot. … It does not matter that a better, more informative statement could possibly be crafted,” Judge Clarkson Fisher wrote for the unanimous three-judge panel.

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