Hobby Lobby and Corporate Personhood: The Alarming Conservative Crusade to Declare Everything—Except People—a Legal ‘Person.’
Making chimpanzees legally “persons” will have inintended (or perhaps intended) consequences. There was an article awhile back regarding the “personhood” of dogs as sentient beings. It’s more than the new buzzword. It’s a fundamental redefining of our legal system.
Conferring human attributes such as religious conviction and the capacity for embarrassment on a corporation is dangerous. Conferring human rights upon a fertilized egg is too. Progressives can be just as guilty as conservatives when it comes to this sort of metaphorical personhood creep, by the way. A suit filed this week in New York seeks to protect four chimpanzees as “persons” too. But whatever you may think of the ultimate goals here, when you designate a nonperson as a person, you devalue what it means, as a legal and policy matter, to be human.