A New York judge has granted two research chimps the writ of habeas corpus — a move that allows them to challenge their detention. The decision, says Science magazine, effectively recognizes chimps as legal persons, marking the first time in U.S. history that an animal has been given that right.
The order, dated April 20, requires Stony Brook University to appear in court and provide a legally sufficient reason for keeping the two chimps, Hercules and Leo. A hearing is scheduled for May 6. The Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP), the group that filed the case on behalf of the chimps, said in a statement it believed that Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Barbara Jaffe’s order “implicitly determined that Hercules and Leo are ‘persons.’ “
Disguised as egalitarianism run amok, this movement is actually another salient in the Left’s ongoing war against humanity and its special status in God’s hierarchy. It may seem like it’s a movement to define chimitudinosity up, but it actually defines humanity down — the more easily to send us to the abattoir when the times comes.
Still, I think we can expect this judgment to be overturned. For one thing, the New York State Supreme Court is not, in fact, supreme — it’s a rather middling court, below the Court of Appeals in stature. For another:
But Richard Cupp, a law professor at Pepperdine University who opposes personhood for animals, told Science, “It would be quite surprising if the judge intended to make a momentous substantive finding that chimpanzees are legal persons if the judge has not yet heard the other side’s arguments.”
The Nonhuman Rights Project filed a suit on behalf of the two chimps in the Supreme Court of Suffolk County in December 2013, but that court refused to issues a writ of habeas corpus, and its appellate division dismissed the suit. The group appealed to the New York County Supreme Court in Manhattan, which ruled Monday in the case.
No point is resting easy though: recall that a court in Argentina has extended “non-human person rights” to an orangutan.