Why does the text of the Abolition Amendment adhere so closely to that of the 13th Amendment?

Modern abolitionists often ask about the origin of the text of Section 1 of the Abolition Amendment, particularly the phrase “neither slavery nor involuntary servitude”.  This phrase is a word-for-word quote from the 13th Amendment.  Re-using this phrase verbatim has several benefits, such as:

  • INTENDED RESULT:  the actual, historical effect of the 13th Amendment is undeniable: it ended human slavery; re-using the operative text of the 13th Amendment sends a clear signal that the Abolition Amendment will do the same thing for other animals
  • TAPPING INTO EXISTING PRECEDENTS: legal precedents based on the 13th Amendment will be more easily applied to cases involving the Abolition Amendment if the language used is identical; in other words, by re-using this language, the modern abolition movement taps into the power of 100+ years of existing case law interpreting this language
  • RATIFICATION PROCESS:  the political process of getting a Constitutional amendment ratified is very difficult; by re-using language that is already in the Constitution, the modern abolition movement minimizes the number of arguments available to pro-violence, pro-exploitation advocates; in other words, there’s simply a lot less to argue about than there would be if new language were used

These reasons represent some of the many benefits of keeping the text of the Abolition Amendment close to the relevant portions of the text of the 13th Amendment.

13th Amendment - logo by Chris Censullo

13th Amendment – logo by Chris Censullo

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How does the Humane Party Oath compare to other oaths?

The Humane Party Oath comprehends a range of professional and personal duties, including those of loyalty, diligence, and care for the well-being of others. The Humane Party Oath reflects the influence and inspiration of other oaths that are widely used and respected in our culture.

For example, the first two sections of the Humane Party Oath closely parallel the oath that each U.S. President must take, which is prescribed in the U.S. Constitution. These sections deal primarily with loyalty to the people and nation of the United States of America.

The third section of the Humane Party Oath addresses duties pertaining to professional behavior, such as the duty to remain scientifically informed and to remain accountable for one’s own decisions. This section is comparable to the professionalism-related sections of the Hippocratic Oath, which has long been taken by physicians in some form.

Hippocratic Oath comparison

Other portions of the Humane Party Oath reflect the inspiration of oaths that attorneys must take, which vary from state to state, and of the oath taken by U.S. federal employees.

Certain portions of the Humane Party Oath reflect the Humane Party’s unique position of leadership in the field of ethics; these portions have essentially no precedent in the other oaths described above. For instance, the fifth section of the Humane Party Oath includes a personal, ethical commitment to lead a vegan, cruelty-free life. The sixth section applies this ethical commitment to the political arena.

However, while the Humane Party Oath breaks new ground vis-a-vis other oaths, the Oath is not without precedent in the general field of ethics. For instance, the Humane Party Oath can be regarded as articulating the maxim of primum non nocere—“First, do no harm”—in modern oath form.

Presidential Oath comparison

What is the “Violence Is Not Entertainment” (VINE) Act?

The “Violence Is Not Entertainment” (VINE) Act is a proposed update of U.S. intellectual property law.  Under the VINE Act, animal abusers can no longer establish, maintain, or enforce intellectual property (“IP”) rights in material that includes abuse of a live animal.

The VINE Act directly impacts two bodies of IP law at the federal level—copyright and trademark—and serves as a model for analogous legislation at the state level.  Drafting of a separate act abolishing patent eligibility for animal-abuse methods and devices is also underway.

COPYRIGHT

Materials described in 17 U.S.C. 102—such as still photographs, video recordings, or audio recordings—will be excluded from copyright eligibility if those materials record acts of animal abuse.  For example, property rights under U.S. law no longer attach to materials recording bullfights, dogfights, cockfights, horse races, dog races, animal sacrifices, vivisection, bestiality, or rodeo events, regardless of where those materials are recorded.

This portion of the VINE Act depropertizes only those materials that visibly or audibly record abuse of an actual, living animal.  For example, illustrations, animations, and computer-generated simulations of animal abuse are unaffected by the VINE Act.

TRADEMARK / SERVICE MARK

Marks for goods and services that necessarily require death or mutilation will no longer be registrable with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”), and such marks that have already been registered will no longer be recognized as property under U.S. law.  For example, the USPTO no longer grants, renews, or otherwise recognizes registration of marks wherein the identified goods include dead body parts, such as fur, skin, bone, ivory, or muscle tissue.

The VINE Act does not restrict, encumber, or otherwise affect the creation, financing, production, possession, reproduction, distribution, transmission, hosting, storing, advertising, marketing, publication, sale, rental, loan, display, viewing, or consumption of animal-abuse materials. Rather, the VINE Act merely withdraws Congress-created intellectual property status from such materials.  Therefore, free speech rights under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution are unaffected by the VINE Act.

An initial draft of the VINE Act will be published for public comments and editorial suggestions later in 2016.  Suggestions received from the public during the public-comment period will be reviewed, and the text of the VINE Act will be revised to incorporate such suggestions as appropriate.

What is the Equal Rights Amendment II (ERA2)?

The “Equal Rights Amendment II” (or “ERA II”) is a proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  It reads as follows:

Section 1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex, sexual orientation, gender, or choice of spouse or partner.

Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

Upon ratification, the Equal Rights Amendment II prohibits discrimination under U.S. and state law on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, gender, or choice of spouse or partner.

The Equal Rights Amendment II was developed by the Humane Party from 2009 to 2015. The text draws on the language of the original Equal Rights Amendment, which was drafted by Alice Paul and Crystal Eastman in 1923 and narrowly failed ratification as part of the U.S. Constitution during the 20th century.

Equal Rights Amendment II (ERA2) image by Chris Censullo

Equal Rights Amendment II (ERA2) image by Chris Censullo

What is the Democracy Amendment?

The Democracy for America Amendment (or simply the “Democracy Amendment”) is a proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  Upon ratification, the Democracy Amendment will replace the U.S.’s Electoral College system for determining the next President of the United States with democratic elections of the U.S. President.

By replacing the Electoral College system with democratic elections, the U.S. can avoid recurrence of situations in which one Presidential candidate wins the popular vote but another candidate still becomes President.

The full, final text of the Democracy for America Amendment reads as follows:

Section 1.  The President and Vice President shall be elected by the citizens of the United States.

Section 2.  This article shall become operative two years after ratification.

Democracy Amendment

Democracy Amendment

What is the Abolition Amendment?

The Abolition Amendment is a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution.  Upon ratification, the Abolition Amendment will abolish slavery with respect to all animals, thereby putting an immediate end to the meat, dairy, egg, and other exploitation- and killing-based industries.  In so doing, the Abolition Amendment represents the fruit of decades of labor by animal rights activists, environmentalists, and vegan advocates in the U.S.

The final version of the Abolition Amendment was published on Abolition Day, December 6, 2016.  The full text of the Abolition Amendment appears in the following image.

Abolition Amendment | Final Draft | December 6 2016

Abolition Amendment | Final Draft | December 6 2016

What are the primary effects and impact of the APE Amendment?

The primary effects and impact of the American Primate Emancipation Amendment (or APE Amendment) are those of:

1. Abolishing slavery with respect to all primates. Just as the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution served to abolish the institution of human slavery within the U.S., the APE Amendment abolishes the institution of slavery for all other primates. Such abolition means that primates—including apes, monkeys, chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans, and several other mammalian species who are particularly closely related to homo sapiens—can no longer be treated as “property” and therefore can no longer be used for entertainment purposes, vivisection, or other forms of exploitation.

2. Recognizing the availability of the writ of habeas corpus for protecting the rights of all primates. The writ of habeas corpus is a key procedural mechanism for protecting the substantive rights of individuals in the American legal system. This mechanism allows demand, through a legal proceeding, that either (i) an adequate reason for holding an individual in captivity be demonstrated or (ii) the individual be released. By explicitly making the writ of habeas corpus available for safeguarding the rights of all primates, the APE Amendment activates a key vehicle for ensuring that other primates are free from slavery not only in theory but in actuality.

3. Providing a guardian ad litem when necessary to protect the rights of a primate. In the American legal system, when an individual does not have the capacity to properly protect his or her rights (e.g., an infant), a guardian ad litem can be appointed to act on behalf of the incapacitated individual. By explicitly making the guardian ad litem procedural mechanism available for use with respect to all primates, the APE Amendment activates another key vehicle for ensuring that other primates are free from slavery not only in theory but in actuality.

4. Eliminating the 13th Amendment exception for slavery in criminal cases. The language of the 13th Amendment provides an exception to its general prohibition of human slavery, namely, an exception for “punishment for a crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted”. The APE Amendment eliminates this exception, both for humans and for all other primates.  In closing this loophole, the APE Amendment directly affects humans and enhances humans’ civil rights in the United States.  This enhanced protection of human rights is particularly relevant and important in America today, where the Democrat-Republican bloc has incarcerated the largest population of prisoners in the world and has transformed the criminal justice system into a for-profit prison system.

APE Amendment

APE Amendment

Why did the Humane Party break the abolition process into two separate Constitutional amendments?

The Humane Party chose to separate the remainder of the abolition process into two different Constitutional amendments—namely, the APE Amendment and the Abolition Amendment—in order to accomplish the ultimate goal—abolition—as fast as possible.

Specifically, the APE Amendment breaks, for the first time in U.S. history, the species barrier to legal standing (often called “rights” or “personhood”). This speciesist barrier is formidable: it has endured for thousands of years in all human cultures all around the world. By being limited in scope to those species to which humans are most recently related, the APE Amendment is optimized to break this psychological and philosophical barrier immediately. This amendment represents the very cutting edge of the modern abolitionist movement.

Once the species barrier has been overcome through the APE Amendment, the road to emancipation of all other animals by way of the Abolition Amendment will be clear.

Thus, in the Humane Party’s estimation, the two-step process described above will produce the desired result—abolition of slavery for all species—faster than would a single-step process.

Emancipation Sets

Emancipation Sets

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.

What is Abolition Day?

American Abolition Day—or just “Abolition Day”, for short—is a national celebration to be observed annually on December 6. Abolition Day was created by the Humane Party for the two-fold purpose described below.  Years in the making, Abolition Day was first formally celebrated in 2015.

The purpose of Abolition Day is two-fold:

13th Amendment - logo by Chris Censullo

13th Amendment – logo by Chris Censullo

1. Honoring the Past. The first purpose of Abolition Day is to commemorate the success of the proto-abolitionist movement in the United States of America, which movement culminated in ratification of the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution on December 6, 1865. Ratification of the 13th Amendment, which ended human slavery in the U.S., represents the single most important moment in the history of civil rights in the U.S. since ratification of the Bill of Rights. The annual date of Abolition Day was chosen to coincide with the anniversary of this pivotal moment.

Abolition Amendment_profile

2. Brightening the Future. The second purpose of Abolition Day is to promote completion of the process of abolition so as to end slavery with respect to all other species within the jurisdiction of the United States. Specifically, Abolition Day serves to promote ratification of two additional abolitionist amendments.

The Humane Party published the first of these two additional abolitionist amendments, the American Primate Emancipation (“APE”) Amendment, on December 6, 2015. The APE Amendment, when ratified, will emancipate all other primates within the jurisdiction of the United States. The Humane Party is scheduled to publish the final text of the second additional abolitionist amendment, called simply the Abolition Amendment, on Abolition Day, 2016. The Abolition Amendment, when ratified, will emancipate all other animals within the jurisdiction of the United States.

 

Emancipation - King & Baird, engraver

Emancipation – King & Baird, engraver