Judges to Flipper & Friends: Fuck Off!


In a ruling that will no doubt come back to haunt humanity when we enter into the inevitable eventual power-sharing arrangement with ultra-intelligent sea mammals, the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has ruled that, "The world's whales, porpoises and dolphins have no standing to sue President Bush over the U.S. Navy's use of sonar equipment that harms marine mammals."

Continues a news service account:

"If Congress and the President intended to take the extraordinary step of authorizing animals as well as people and legal entities to sue they could and should have said so plainly," Judge William A. Fletcher wrote in an 18-page opinion for the panel.

The lawsuit was brought against Bush and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld on behalf of "the cetacean community" -- defined as the world's whales, porpoises and dolphins -- by their self-appointed lawyer, marine mammal activist Lanny Sinkin.

Whole thing here. No word if The Incredible Mr. Limpet, Alpha, or other fictional sea-living employees of the federal government were called to testify.

In a related case, Yes v. Music Fans Everywhere, the court ruled that the 1978 song, "Don't Kill the Whale," really sucks.

Update: Reason Contributing Editor Walter Olson, proprietor of the always interesting Overlawyered.com, has a quick post on the case that links to other attempts to give animals legal standing. Read it here.