Judge Denies Legal Personhood to Chimps—for Now

On Wednesday, New York Supreme Court Judge Barbara Jaffe rejected a claim that two chimpanzees in a New York research laboratory have a right to bodily liberty. The Nonhuman Rights Project had filed a petition for the two chimps, Hercules and Leo, for a writ of habeas corpus freeing them from unlawful imprisonment. In denying the petition, Jaffe could have laughed off the NRP’s claims. Instead, she wrote a surprisingly thoughtful opinion that gives both liberty and morality a fair shake.

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