New York Post headline:  Happy the elephant is not a ‘person,’ New York’s highest court rules.

Before opening the article, I thought to myself that this must have been a unanimous decision that noted that the group bringing this absurd lawsuit had wasted everyone’s time.

New York Post:  “The 5-2 decision…”

Come again?

“While no one disputes that elephants are intelligent beings deserving of proper care and compassion, the courts below properly granted the motion to dismiss the petition,” reads the majority decision authored by Chief Judge Janet DiFiore.  (The opinion is correct – but what of the dissents?)

Judge Rowan Wilson:  “We should recognize Happy’s right to petition for her liberty not just because she is a wild animal who is not meant to be caged and displayed, but because the rights we confer on others define who we are as a society.”  Happy cannot petition for her liberty.  (Happy is an elephant.  Elephants cannot file legal petitions.  Judge Wilson’s personal opinions about the Bronx Zoo do not change this fact.)

Judge Jenny Rivera:  “The law has a mechanism to challenge this inherently harmful confinement, and Happy should not be denied the opportunity to pursue and obtain appropriate relief by writ of habeas corpus.”  (If the good Judge wants to campaign for the abolition of the Bronx Zoo, she is free to seek a political office amenable to those purposes.)