Ninth Circuit rules whales and dolphins cannot sue President Bush

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that the world's population of marine mammals do not have standing to sue President George W. Bush or Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. The lawsuit, filed by attorney and animal activist Lanny Sinkin, was brought on behalf of the world's population of whales, dolphins and porpoises, described by their attorney as the Cetacean Community. The lawsuit claimed that the US Navy violated the Endangered Species Act because it damaged marine mammal tissue through the Navy's use of long range, low-frequency sonar. In its opinion, the Ninth Circuit held that the reason animals could not sue was not merely the fact that they were animals, but that they had not been granted the right to sue. Read the Ninth Circuit's opinion [PDF] online. Reuters has more here.

 

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