Posts Tagged ‘animal rights’

October 31 roundup

  • Attempts to ban digital contraband are often fated to be both intrusive and futile [J.D. Tuccille]
  • “The Gender Pay Gap: Why We Fight The Narrative” [Ryan Bourne, Cato]
  • “He’s Back! Steven Wise’s Nonhuman Rights Project Seeks Habeas Corpus For An Elephant” [Ted Folkman, Letters Blogatory, Wise’s previous go and generally]
  • Regulatory battles between hotel industry and AirBnB spread across U.S. [Robert McCartney, Washington Post]
  • Concept of international human rights “has been swept into a broad river of campaigns for social justice, global economic development, environmental protection, multiculturalism, tolerance, access to water and sanitation, and more” and diluted in the process [James Kirchick, Commentary on new Aaron Rhodes book The Debasement of Human Rights: How Politics Sabotage the Ideal of Freedom; Cato forum from May with Rhodes, Kirchick, Roger Pilon, and Ian Vasquez; Rhodes interview with John Couretas and Caroline Roberts, Acton Institute]
  • “Pro-tip from the Third Circuit for attorneys requesting fees: Don’t have a single-spaced, 6- to 8-point font, 44-page fee petition including ‘hundreds of inappropriate, unethical entries that would likely be illegal if billed to a client.’ You might find yourself facing no fees, a sanction, and a referral to the attorney disciplinary board.” [John K. Ross, IJ Short Circuit, on Young v. Smith]

October 10 roundup

  • “Heisman Trophy People Sue HeismanWatch For Using Images Of The Trophy And Stating Its Name” [Timothy Geigner, TechDirt]
  • At elite law schools, the days when a centrist liberal like Elena Kagan could offer a welcome to Federalist Society types are fast drawing to a close, writes Reihan Salam [The Atlantic]
  • Being able to link to federal court cases and legal materials would be huge: legislation from Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) “would require that the courts make PACER documents available for download free of charge” [Timothy Lee, ArsTechnica]
  • “UPDATE: Judge Rules Province Has No Duty to Recognize Bigfoot” [Kevin Underhill, Lowering the Bar, earlier]
  • First state with such a law: “California governor signs bill banning sale of animal-tested cosmetics” [John Bowden, The Hill]
  • North Carolina bar says lawyer “defrauded, deceived and embezzled funds from two mentally disabled clients who were declared innocent after spending 31 years in prison” [Joseph Neff, Marshall Project]

Environment roundup

June 6 roundup

  • “Prosecutors say use of condoms manufactured outside state made sex crime a federal offense” [ABA Journal]
  • Philadelphia family court judge, much criticized in course of appellate review, now subject of probe by state Judicial Conduct Board [Samantha Melamed, Philly.com]
  • Check out illustration: would you be likely to confuse cartoon beaver with cartoon alligator? Texas jury in trademark dispute thinks you would [Lowering the Bar]
  • Panels at Federalist Society’s annual Executive Branch Review Conference tackle disparate impact, litigation and regulatory reform, and civil service reform, including participants like Gail Heriot, Roger Clegg, Stuart Taylor, Jr, and Philip K. Howard;
  • British restrictions on trial reporting wrongly infringe on liberty of press, but at core of Tommy Robinson affair is old-fashioned contempt of court [Daniel Hannan, Washington Examiner]
  • Animal Legal Defense Fund argues animals should have standing to sue persons who abuse them, opening many new employment opportunities for lawyers at places like ALDF [KATU; related, recent Ninth Circuit monkey-selfie ruling]

Ninth Circuit takes down PETA in monkey-selfie case

“The Ninth Circuit has now said we should not use animals as props in ideologically driven litigation.” [Ted Folkman, Letters Blogatory] In particular:

But now, in the wake of PETA’s proposed dismissal, Naruto is left without an advocate, his supposed “friend” having abandoned Naruto’s substantive claims in what appears to be an effort to prevent the publication of a decision adverse to PETA’s institutional interests. Were he capable of recognizing this abandonment, we wonder whether Naruto might initiate an action for breach of confidential relationship against his (former) next friend, PETA, for its failure to pursue his interests before its own.

The footnote ends with a devastating indictment of PETA’s entire project:

Puzzlingly, while representing to the world that “animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way,” PETA seems to employ Naruto as an unwitting pawn in its ideological goals.

Earlier here.

Update: habeas corpus claim for elephants “wholly frivolous on its face”

Updating a November post: a judge has rejected a habeas corpus petition filed by Steven Wise’s Nonhuman Rights Project against a small Connecticut zoo on behalf of three elephants. Ted Folkman, Letters Blogatory:

The judge held that under Connecticut law, at least, it’s necessary for the next friend to have at least some relationship with the real party in interest. Here there was no relationship between the NhRP and the elephants. Indeed, as the judge observed, the people with the real relationship with the elephants were the zookeepers—the people who were being sued! …I don’t think standing is the key issue here. But the judge’s discussion does raise the question of why one would think that Steven Wise has any more right to represent the interests of these elephants than do the people who know the elephants best. This illustrates one of the real problems with Wise’s crusade: it’s an attempt to use the courts for essentially legislative purposes, and the “client” is a mere fiction or pawn. …

Why does the the NhRP focus on trying to get a court to declare that highly intelligent animals are persons with rights, instead of trying to pass improved animal cruelty laws or even trying to pass more radical statutes, e.g., a law making it illegal to own or keep elephants, say? A cynical view is that if you pass general criminal laws, then when someone violates the law, the government takes the initiative to prosecute the offenders. But if the way we protect animals going forward is through litigation with the animals as plaintiffs, then there will be a regular role for the NhRP in conducting litigation and in shaping the outcomes of particular cases. … [They] will always need the ‘help’ of the lawyers.

Environment roundup

  • “Lolita the killer whale has lived at Miami Seaquarium since 1970. Do the conditions of her confinement, including sharing her tank with dolphins that engage in inappropriate sexual behavior, amount to ‘harm’ and ‘harassment’ in violation of federal statute? The Eleventh Circuit says no.” [John Ross, Short Circuit, on PETA v. Miami Seaquarium]
  • California suit about Prop 65 warnings on coffee grinds on [Sara Randazzo/WSJ, Pierre Lemieux/EconLog, earlier]
  • NYC mayor De Blasio, who recently filed long-shot suit, says he hopes to “bring death knell to fossil fuel industry” [John Breslin, Legal NewsLine] “People don’t need to smoke cigarettes, but they have needed energy for many decades,” one of many reasons suing Big Oil is different from suing Big Tobacco [Amy Harder, Axios]
  • Squirrel rescue saga: “I begged and pleaded for a few more weeks, but was essentially told I needed to release him even though it was the middle of winter.” [Christine Clarridge, Seattle Times]
  • Aluminum smelter vs. orchards: a historic instance of nuisance litigation working well as a regulatory method? [Douglas Kysar, SSRN]
  • “Privatizing Federal Grazing Lands” [Chris Edwards, Cato]

November 22 roundup

Ted Frank enters the monkey arena

Mike Masnick, TechDirt:

As we highlighted earlier this week, while it was no surprise that PETA and photographer David Slater worked out a settlement agreement to end the ridiculous lawsuit PETA had filed, it was deeply concerning that part of the settlement involved PETA demanding that the original district court ruling — the one saying, clearly, that animals don’t get copyrights — should be thrown out.

It took just a few days for Frank, on behalf of CEI, to file a wonderful and hilarious amicus brief with the court. There are a bunch of reasons why vacatur is improper here, but the real beauty of this brief is in pointing out that Naruto — the monkey — has been left out of the settlement, and thus not “all parties” have agreed. No, really.

More: CEI. Earlier here, etc.

September 13 roundup

  • Scranton, Pa. federal judge “denies ‘exorbitant’ request for nearly $1M in attorney fees after $125K recovery” [ABA Journal; arose from bad faith insurance action on underlying uninsured motorist claim that settled for $25,000]
  • As PETA settles monkey selfie case with hapless photographer, details confirm that “Naruto is really just a prop to be deployed in the case as PETA sees fit.” [Ted Folkman, Eriq Gardner, earlier] A sad catalogue of litigation abuse enabled by PETA’s donors [Frank Bednarz thread]
  • Lively First Circuit opinion upholds extortion conviction of small town police chief [Bob Dunn, Berkshire Eagle, U.S. v. Buffis via IJ’s John Ross, “Short Circuit“; Lee, Mass.]
  • She beat DOMA and the IRS too, and all in great style. My appreciation of Edith Windsor [Cato at Liberty]
  • “North Carolina’s Fickle Finger of Redistricting” [also by me at Cato at Liberty]
  • Me: “Posner was the judge lawyers really didn’t want to run into if they had bad class action settlements to defend” [Jonathan Bilyk, Cook County Record, earlier]