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Appeals Court: Chimpanzees Not People, Don’t Have Constitutional Rights

Appeals Court: Chimpanzees Not People, Don’t Have Constitutional Rights

Seriously, animal rights activists sought Writ of Habeas Corpus to release chimp from captivity.

A New York appeals court has ruled that two chimpanzees in the state will not get a writ of habeas corpus for release from captivity because … well, they’re not human. This obvious legal point comes after litigation by animal rights activists.

The Associated Press reports:

Appeals court says chimpanzees don’t have rights of people

Two chimpanzees that were caged at a trailer lot and at a primate sanctuary don’t have the legal rights of people in New York, an appeals court said Thursday.

Nonhuman Rights Project attorney Steven Wise had argued to the appeals court in March that adult male chimps Tommy and Kiko should be granted a writ of habeas corpus, which for people relates to whether someone is being unlawfully detained or imprisoned and should be taken to see a judge.

Wise argued that the chimps, which were caged in a trailer lot in Gloversville, outside Albany, and at a primate sanctuary in Niagara Falls, should be moved to a large outdoor sanctuary in Florida.

Chimpanzees, which can walk upright and use sticks and stones as tools to help gather food, are considered to be the closest living relatives of humans. Some have been taught to speak simple human sign language.

But the state Supreme Court’s appellate division, in a ruling that affirmed a lower court’s decision, said there was no legal precedent for chimpanzees being considered people and their cognitive capabilities didn’t mean they could be held legally accountable for their actions.

Professor Jacobson wrote about this case back in 2014:

Tommy the Chimp finds no relief in court

Around this time last year we covered the story of the lawsuit seeking release of a chimpanzee via a habeas corpus petition at College Insurrection, as part of the greater Nonhuman Rights movement, Yale to hold Non-Human Rights Conference:

There were plenty of headlines about a lawsuit seeking a court ruling that four captive Chimpanzees were persons and entitled to

“the right to bodily liberty via a writ of habeas corpus. The suits, filed in New York Supreme Court, are based on scientific evidence proving that chimpanzees are self-aware and autonomous, and therefore entitled to be recognized as “legal persons” with certain fundamental legal rights.”

On December 6-8, 2013, Yale is hosting a conference devoted to the rights of non-humans.

Now the ruling has come down (h/t Gabriel Malor):

More here.


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Who pays for all this? Please, Professor, tell me the ‘loser’ has to pay the court costs.

Well, I for one am relieved. Less chance now for more voter fraud.


Well, hooray, the court made the right call. Not always assured when so many leftists are running around in black dresses.

Seriously, I think sanctions should be leveled against this attorney.

Maybe this attorney could bring some other suits. Here are some possibilities,

Quotes About Obvious,

Thank goodness, Florida has enough New Yorkers already.

Connivin Caniff | June 11, 2017 at 1:15 pm

GW to file appeal.

Blaise MacLean | June 11, 2017 at 1:47 pm

Why are costs not assessed against losers in this kind of litigation? Why should the winner have to bear the financial burden of defending what is essentially a form of harassment through legal procedure?

Had anyone ever seen Gabriel Malor and Allahpundit together in the same room? I’m asking for a friend.

Due to the obvious absurdity of the complaint, can any lawyer types please explain how this case ever had standing before the court? Why was it not simply dismissed out of hand?

That headline is poorly punctuated

BrokeGopher | June 11, 2017 at 3:07 pm

If they were ruled to be human, would they be required to buy health insurance?

Oh course the chronic poop throwers would be democrats.

If only…

If only the chimps were gay or transgender, they could have been more favored victims!

Ramos Washington | June 12, 2017 at 7:02 am

It would mean the chimp who tore a woman’s face off would be sent to prison for life. Cellmates who complain would be cited for chimpophobia.

Planet of the apes averted.

There are chimps that have higher IQs than many voters.