Tuesday, March 09, 2010
All is right in the world again: Swiss voters reject a "right to counsel" for animals. Chortling derisively, perhaps, that the question got on the ballot in Switzerland? Laugh it up, furball. The head of Barack Obama's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs has argued, in writing no less, that animals ought to having standing in U.S. courts to bring lawsuits.
Yes, the left are different from us. And, apparently, the Swiss.
Sure, "animals should be permitted to bring suit..." assuming they can make their arguments known, or be made to understand them. I know my dog knows to sit when I say sit, but I don't know that I could explain the intricacies of a lawsuit sufficiently for him to understand it. Failing that, I might suggest any lawyer representing him would be engaging in something akin to presumption.
"assuming they can make their arguments known, or be made to understand them. "
I'm not sure that argument holds. Small children, or Alzheimer's sufferers, can be legally represented.
It is clear (at least to me) that this proposal is silly; but it is not so easy to find a solid argument against it.
What is the legal status of a cat or dog when a rich widow leaves it her fortune? No doubt different in various countries.