Regardless of the slim odds of a favorable ruling, it’s a groundbreaking case in its use of the Constitution to fight for intelligent animals’ freedom. Via PhysOrg:
A California federal court is to decide for the first time in US history whether amusement park animals are protected by the same constitutional rights as humans.
The issue arises from a lawsuit filed by rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) in a San Diego court on behalf of five orcas named Tilikum, Katina, Corky, Kasatka and Ulises. The whales perform water acrobatics at the SeaWorld amusement parks in San Diego and in Orlando, Florida.
PETA argues that continuing the whales’ “employment” at SeaWorld violates the 13th Amendment to the US Constitution, which prohibits slavery. District Judge Jeffrey Miller heard arguments in the complaint Monday and reviewed the response from SeaWorld, which asked that the lawsuit be dismissed. His ruling is expected to come later. “It’s a new frontier in civil rights,” said Jeff Kerr, PETA general counsel, who described the hearing as a “historic day.”