In early 1981, the 73rd General Assembly of the State of Arkansas in regular session passed Senate Bill 482 without debate. Governor Frank White, immediately signed the bill, admitting that he hadn't read it, and it became state law as Act 590, the “Balanced Treatment for Creation-Science and Evolution-Science Act.” A suit on behalf of 23 plaintiffs was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on May 27, 1981, and a trial before Federal Judge William Overton was scheduled for October and then postponed until December, 1981. The trial began on December 7, 1981, and it received national attention. The ACLU called well-known expert witnesses in both religion (Bruce Vawter, George Marsden, and Langdon Gilkey) and science (Francisco Ayala, G. Brent Dalrymple, Stephen Jay Gould, and Carl Sagan). The state's witnesses were creationists associated with the Geoscience Research Institute, Loma Linda University, California (Harold Coffin, Ariel Roth), and the Creation Research Society, Ann Arbor, Michigan (Wayne Friar, Margaret Helder, Donald Chittick, Robert Gentry). Its “star” witness, at least in the eyes of the press, was Chandra Wickramasinghe, University College of Wales. The trial did not involve any of the high profile creationists, such as Henry Morris or Duane Gish, from the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) in San Diego, even though it was disclosed that Wendall R. Bird, an attorney associated with (ICR), had written the act. Both sides called local educators. Judge Overton issued his ruling and an injunction permanently prohibiting enforcement of Act 590 on January 5, 1982. The state did not appeal his ruling.