It’s important to do all we can in pursuit of freedom for Happy. This includes challenging the wrongness of the majority decision, which, as the two dissenting judges understood, harms Happy as much as it undermines the values and principles of justice upon which our own human rights depend.
NhRP: The Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP) filed a motion to reargue the 5-2 decision by New York’s highest court issued in June in a landmark case that seeks Happy the elephant’s right to liberty and release from the Bronx Zoo to an elephant sanctuary.
The New York Court of Appeals “misapprehended and overlooked crucial points of law and fact … resulting in an arbitrary and irrational decision — one that not only sanctions the daily injustice inflicted upon Happy at the Bronx Zoo, but has created instability and confusion in New York law with grave implications for illegally confined human beings,” the NhRP writes in its motion.
The NhRP repeatedly cites the two dissenting opinions, which harshly criticize the majority and have been lauded as a historic mark of progress in the global fight to secure fundamental legal rights for nonhuman animals. If the reargument motion is granted, the Court may order another hearing and will issue a decision explaining why it will either reverse or clarify its prior decision.
“No differently than if we had a human client, we feel it’s important to do all we can in pursuit of freedom for Happy,” said Monica Miller, the NhRP attorney who argued Happy’s case. “This includes challenging the wrongness of the majority decision, which, as the two dissenting judges understood, harms Happy as much as it undermines the values and principles of justice upon which our own human rights depend. That’s what this motion is about.”
In May, the Court of Appeals became the first state high court in the US and the highest court of any English-speaking jurisdiction to consider a case calling for a nonhuman being to be recognized as a legal person (i.e. a rights-holder). In a widely covered hearing, the NhRP argued for recognition of Happy’s fundamental right to liberty and release to a sanctuary where this right would be respected… With the Court not in session for the remaining summer months, the NhRP does not expect a decision on the motion until September at the earliest.
Meanwhile, the NhRP’s first case in California–on behalf of Amahle, Nowalzi, and Vusmusi, three elephants held in captivity at the Fresno Chaffee Zoo who are victims of the continuing importation of elephants to US zoos–is already underway… The NhRP sees both Happy’s case and the Fresno elephants’ case as examples of how “zoos mislead the public into thinking captivity in zoos is for the elephants’ own good,” said Miller, who is Amahle, Nowalzi, and Vusmusi’s California counsel. SOURCE…