Elephant Habeas: California Judge Denies Petition

An elephant holding a brush in its trunk and using it to paint paint an elephant

A judge in Fresno has denied the habeas corpus petition brought by the Nonhuman Rights Project on behalf of three elephants at the Fresno Zoo. The decision didn’t turn on the NhRP’s “elephants are people” argument. Instead, the judge decided that under California law, only persons in state custody can petition for habeas corpus. I have no idea if that is right, but that’s the decision. The NhRP has said it will continue the fight.

Since the decision did not get into the “animals are persons” nonsense, I will not make this a long post. I’ll save it for the next elephant habeas lawsuit, which I have no doubt is coming, since the NhRP’s whole litigation strategy is premised on going from state to state until they find the one judge who will declare that elephants are indeed persons.

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