According to an article in the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s online journal yesterday:
In a decision that effectively recognizes chimpanzees as legal persons for the first time, a New York judge today granted a pair of Stony Brook University lab animals the right to have their day in court. The ruling marks the first time in U.S. history that an animal has been covered by a writ of habeas corpus, which typically allows human prisoners to challenge their detention. The judicial action could force the university, which is believed to be holding the chimps, to release the primates, and could sway additional judges to do the same with other research animals.
David Grimm, Judge’s ruling grants legal right to research chimps, Science Insider (April 20, 2015).
Recognizing that the world famous (truly) Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium has lots of primates, my law clerks, upon learning of this ruling, asked the most pertinent question. If primates are persons, do we get more staff if the primates file federal habeas corpus petitions? I am interested in your thoughts.
*Many thanks to a former law clerk, who is generally a horrible person, for the tip.