Orlando Sentinel’s Central Florida 100: ELEPHANT’S PERSONHOOD

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New York’s highest court ruled in a 5-2 ruling that Happy the Elephant is not a legal person allowed to be freed from her Bronx Zoo confinement under habeas corpus. What was surprising were two things: first, the Court’s argument was that challenging her confinement could be disruptive to the owner’s property and agricultural rights; second, that two of the five justices disagreed, arguing that prior legal precedents used exactly that same property-rights argument to support slavery. History overturned enslaved humans as property. It will be interesting to see what happens if sentient beings on four legs are next.

Originally posted for the Orlando Sentinel’s Central Florida 100.

Photo: www.vox.com


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