Bill Description: House Bill 647 would clarify that personhood and the rights it entails are reserved exclusively to human beings.
Analyst Note: There are various organizations, such as the "Nonhuman Rights Project," that are actively engaging in litigation to have "personhood" ascribed to animals in order to establish that they have what are traditionally recognized as human rights. They have sued on behalf of numerous animals including chimpanzees and elephants.
In 2021, Federal magistrate Judge Karen Litkovitz in Cincinnati granted a request from the "Animal Legal Defense Fund" to recognize the offspring of hippos once owned by Colombian drug kingpin Pablo Escobar as "interested persons" with associated legal rights.
In 2016, a lengthy essay by a pair of law professors from Rutgers titled "The case against pets" summed up the ultimate goal of establishing "the personhood of non-humans", stating, "A morally just world would have no pets, no aquaria, no zoos. No fields of sheep, no barns of cows. That's true animal rights."
As tempting as it may be to view this legislation as an unnecessary statement of something that should be obvious, the disturbing trends outlined above are only escalating, and they could have disastrous repercussions for humanity.
Does it violate the spirit or the letter of either the U.S. Constitution or the Idaho Constitution? Examples include restrictions on speech, public assembly, the press, privacy, private property, or firearms. Conversely, does it restore or uphold the protections guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution or the Idaho Constitution?
Property rights are among our most fundamental and they includes the right to own and control animals, natural resources, and technology.
In order to protect these and other rights, House Bill 647 creates Section 5-346, Idaho Code, to definitively declare that "notwithstanding any other provisions of law, environmental elements, artificial intelligence, animals, and inanimate objects shall not be granted personhood in the state of Idaho."