INTRODUCTION: ANIMAL LAW IN ACTION: THE LAW, PUBLIC PERCEPTION, AND THE LIMITS OF ANIMAL RIGHTS THEORY AS A BASIS FOR LEGAL REFORM Skip over navigation
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Copyright (c) 2006 Animal Law 
Animal Law

INTRODUCTION: ANIMAL LAW IN ACTION: THE LAW, PUBLIC PERCEPTION, AND THE LIMITS OF ANIMAL RIGHTS THEORY AS A BASIS FOR LEGAL REFORM

2006

12 Animal L. 133

Author

Jonathan R. Lovvorn*

Excerpt



In 1893, a lawyer with a major case pending before the United States Supreme Court was grappling with his doubts. He started to feel so strongly that an appearance before the high court presented grave risks to his client's long-term interests that he typed out a letter laying out his concerns:


 
I have been having some very serious thoughts in regard to [the] Case of late, as my preparation for the hearing has extended.

Shall we press for an early hearing or leave it to come up in its turn or even encourage delay?

I know you will be surprised to hear this from me, and I will explain the reason of it. When we started the fight there was a fair show of favor with the Justices of the Supreme Court. ...Of the whole number of Justices there is now but one who is known to favor the view we must stand upon.

... The court has always been the foe of liberty until forced to move on by public opinion. It moved on up [in other cases] because the general sentiment of the country was so unmistakably expressed as to have an enlightening effect.

It is of the utmost consequence that we should not have a decision against us as it is a matter of boast with the court that it has never reversed itself on a constitutional question.

... My advice is

1 - To leave the case to come up when it will and not attempt ...
 
 
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