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What is the APE Amendment?

APE Amendment image by Christopher Censullo

APE Amendment image by Christopher Censullo

The American Primate Emancipation Amendment—or simply the “APE” Amendment, for short—is a proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The effect of the APE Amendment is to:

  • abolish slavery with respect to all primates in the United States of America
  • recognize habeas corpus mechanism for protecting the rights of all primates
  • recognize guardian ad litem mechanism for protecting the rights of all primates
  • eliminate the 13th Amendment’s exception for criminal cases

The text of the APE Amendment is modeled on that of the 13th Amendment. After years of development by the Humane Party legal team, versions of the APE Amendment text were subjected to three separate periods for public comment during 2015. After all public comments had been reviewed and final revisions made, the final version of the APE Amendment was signed into its current form by Clifton Roberts, then serving as Chief Executive Officer of the Humane Party, on October 19, 2015.

The final text of the APE Amendment was published on the first annual American Abolition Day, December 6, 2015.

The full text of the American Primate Emancipation Amendment reads as follows:

Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude of any primate shall exist within the United States or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
Section 2. The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall be available to ensure the rights of all primates.
Section 3. Every primate who does not have a guardian shall be provided a guardian ad litem when necessary to protect the primate’s rights.
Section 4. Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

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