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NhRP Reply to AZA Arguments in Legal Fight to #FreeHappy

By Lauren Choplin

Today in Happy’s historic elephant rights case, the NhRP filed a reply to an amicus curiae brief submitted in support of the Wildlife Conservation Society and the Bronx Zoo by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and six AZA-accredited New York zoos and aquariums. As we write:

Historically, not all humans could invoke habeas corpus. The common law writ’s protections were extended over time to remedy injustices in cases involving enslaved humans, women, children, and the infirm. The injustice of Happy’s imprisonment at the Bronx Zoo requires this Court to extend the writ’s protections and grant her habeas relief. Amici Curiae would have this Court freeze habeas corpus and ignore the profound role it has played in remedying past injustices.

The AZA brief attempts to argue, among other things, that ruling in Happy’s favor would “wreak havoc on society.”

Latin for “friend of the court,” an amicus curiae (plural: amici curiae) requests permission from a court to advise it regarding a matter of law. An amicus curiae can be a person, an entity like a business, a nonprofit, a trade association, or the government, or a group of people or entities.

In addition to the affidavits submitted by elephant cognition and behavior experts at the outset of our litigation, the NhRP’s legal fight for Happy’s freedom has gained the support of experts on habeas corpus, animal law, philosophy, and more in the form of amicus curiae briefs. At this link is a summary of each brief submitted in support of  Happy’s right to liberty and release to a sanctuary.

For a detailed timeline of Happy’s case, court filings, and decisions, visit this page. Find all the latest on the fight for Happy’s freedom and ways to take action on our new Free Happy campaign page.

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