Whale slavery

March 21, 2013

  • 92 Constitutional Law
  • 92VII Constitutional Rights in General
  • 92VII(B) Particular Constitutional Rights
  • 92k1101 Involuntary Servitude
  • 92k1105 k. Prisoners; Convicts.

92 Constitutional LawThirteenth Amendment prohibition on slavery and involuntary servitude applied only to human beings or persons, rather than non-persons, and thus orca whales, acting by their next friends People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), lacked Article III standing to bring action against operator of sea aquarium alleging they were being held in captivity in violation of their Thirteenth Amendment rights; terms “slavery” and “involuntary servitude,” as used at time Thirteenth Amendment had been enacted, referred only to persons, Amendment’s qualifying phrase, “except as a punishment for crime,” indicated Amendment had been designed to apply only to persons since only persons were subject to criminal convictions, and Emancipation Proclamation issued by President Lincoln had provided that all “persons” held as slaves shall forever be free.
Tilikum ex rel. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Inc. v. Sea World Parks, 842 F.Supp.2d 1259 (S.D. Cal. 2012)