LEAP Announces Fall 2022 Speaker Series


The Law, Ethics & Animals Program (LEAP) at Yale Law School has announced this fall’s speaker series. The series begins on Thursday, Sept. 8 with a remarkable panel of guests interrogating carceral logics and the appropriateness of incarcerating humans who commit violence against animals, featuring Wesleyan University’s Lori Gruen, University of Denver’s Justin Marceau, and Yale Law School’s Reginald Dwayne Betts ’16 and Michael Braham. LEAP’s other events this fall will explore the legal statuses of nonhuman animals and artificial intelligences, the upcoming Supreme Court case on the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 12, and the need for a new U.S. regulatory framework that recognizes the connection between humans, nonhumans, and the environment. Read more about each event and register below. 

Challenging Carceral Logics with Lori Gruen, Justin Marceau, Reginald Dwayne Betts ’16, and Michael Braham

Thursday, Sept. 8, 5:00–6:30 p.m. ET

Baker Hall Room 116

Register here: https://forms.gle/ymkAABWp1JLsT4qNA

Carceral Logics poster
Carceral logics permeate our thinking about humans and nonhumans. We imagine that greater punishment will reduce crime and make society safer. We hope that more convictions and policing for animal crimes will protect animals from cruelty. But is incarcerating humans the appropriate response to violence against nonhuman animals? In this panel discussion, moderated by LEAP Faculty Co-Director Doug Kysar, Professor Lori Gruen (Wesleyan University) and Professor Justin Marceau (University of Denver Strum College of Law) discuss their recent volume, Carceral Logics, which explores the intersection of issues that arise in thinking about animal law, violence, mass incarceration, and social change. Together with Reginald Dwayne Betts ’16 and Michael Braham, they will highlight the problems with advocating for incarceration as a means of redressing harms to animals and discuss what social change lawyers—as well as animal advocates—can learn from the interconnections of oppression as they work to achieve liberation for all.

complete PDF of Carceral Logics is available for free.

Lori Gruen is the William Griffin Professor of Philosophy and Professor of Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Science in Society at Wesleyan University. She coordinates Wesleyan Animal Studies and is the author and editor of 15 books, including Ethics and Animals, Ecofeminism, Entangled Empathy, and the just released Animal Crisis.

Justin Marceau is a Professor of Law at the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law, the Brooks Institute Faculty Research Scholar of Animal Law and Policy, the Faculty director of the Animal Law Program, and an affiliated faculty member with the Institute for Human Animal Connections at the Graduate School of Social Work. He is the author of more than 40 law review articles and essays, two textbooks, and Beyond Cages: Animal Law and Criminal Punishment.

Reginald Dwayne Betts ’16 is a poet, lawyer, and Ph.D. in Law candidate at Yale. His work promotes the rights and humanity of people who are or have been incarcerated and is informed by his experience with incarceration after being tried as an adult for a carjacking at the age of 16. A 2021 MacArthur Fellow, he is the Executive Director of Freedom Reads, a not-for-profit organization that is radically transforming the access to literature in prisons through the installation of Freedom Libraries in prisons across this country.

Michael Braham is a fellow with the Access to Law Program at Yale Law School and paralegal. A formerly incarcerated activist who fights for criminal justice reform in Connecticut, he works with Stop Solitary CT, an organization that aims to end the use of solitary confinement statewide and replace isolation with humane, safe, and effective alternatives. While in prison, he started an organization aimed at promoting higher education within disadvantaged communities. Since his release he is expanding the scope of this organization to include a full-service community center which will provide a safe haven for at risk youth.  He has been working with Justin Marceau and Lori Gruen as a member of the Alternatives to Cruelty Response Working Group.

This event is co-sponsored by the Arthur Liman Center for Public Interest Law, the Justice Collaboratory, the Yale Animal Law Society, Yale Environmental Humanities, the Yale Environmental Law Association, and the Yale Sustainable Food Program.

Arguing California’s Proposition 12 with Jon Lovvorn, Amy Chyao, Rucha A. Desai, and Brian Frazelle (YLS '10)

Thursday, Oct. 13, 12:15–1:15 p.m.

Register here for the webinar link: tinyurl.com/leap-prop12

Arguing California's Proposition 12 poster
In 2018, California voters passed Proposition 12, a ballot initiative banning the intensive confinement of egg-laying chickens, mother pigs, and veal calves raised in California and prohibiting the sale of eggs, pork, and veal in California from facilities anywhere using those practices. After multiple unsuccessful attempts by meat and egg industry trade groups to challenge the law, the Supreme Court will hear arguments on the constitutionality of Proposition 12 on Oct. 11 (National Pork Producers Council v. Ross). The National Pork Producers Council and the American Farm Bureau Federation argue that California is unconstitutionally regulating interstate commerce. 

The Law, Ethics & Animals Program will host a distinguished panel to discuss the case and its potential impacts just two days after oral arguments. This discussion, led by LEAP Faculty Co-Director Jon Lovvorn, will feature Amy Chyao of the Humane Society of the United States, Rucha A. Desai of Fairmark Partners, LLP, and Brian Frazelle (YLS ‘10) of the Constitutional Accountability Center, who all filed amicus briefs in support of Proposition 12 in the case. Together, they will  explore some of the far-reaching consequences of this case, not only for nonhuman animal welfare, but also for human health, labor rights, states’ power to regulate commerce within their borders, and beyond.

Jon Lovvorn is Faculty Co-Director of the Law, Ethics & Animals Program at Yale Law School, a Senior Research Scholar, and Lecturer in Law. He also serves as Chief Counsel for Animal Protection Litigation for the Humane Society of the United States, and as a board member and/or legal advisor to other animal and environmental protection organizations.

Amy Chyao is the Supreme Court Litigation Fellow with the Humane Society of the United States. She oversaw the development of an amicus brief discussing the public health and food safety issues related to Prop 12. Prior to working with HSUS, she was an associate attorney with Earthjustice. She received her JD from Harvard Law School.

Rucha A. Desai is an attorney with Fairmark Partners, LLP, where she specializes in antitrust litigation, and focuses on sustainability, factory farming, and greenwashing issues.  She represents amici small and independent farming businesses, state farmers unions, and farm advocacy organizations that are in support of Proposition 12.  The amicus brief argues that Proposition 12 will promote diversity of production, and expand, rather than constrict, market opportunities for many pork producers.  She received her JD from NYU School of Law in 2016.

Brian Frazelle (YLS ‘10) is a Senior Appellate Counsel at the Constitutional Accountability Center (CAC), which submitted an amici curiae brief on behalf of law professors support of Proposition 12. Prior to joining CAC, Brian was an attorney at the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board and held a fellowship at Public Citizen Litigation Group.

This event is co-sponsored by the Yale Animal Law Society, the Yale Environmental Law Association, and the Yale Sustainable Food Program.

Slaughterhouse Workers, Animals, and the Environment with Delcianna Winders & Elan Abrell

Wednesday, Oct. 26, 12:15–1:15 p.m.

Register here for the webinar link: tinyurl.com/leap-windersabrell

Slaughterhouse workers poster
The COVID-19 pandemic has shone a bright light on industrial slaughterhouses in the United States and their impacts on the vulnerable beings—both human and animal—they exploit. But the severity of these impacts is the result of a long history of failed regulatory oversight, which has contributed to dangerous conditions for slaughterhouse workers, environmental degradation, and severe animal suffering. In this talk, moderated by LEAP Senior Litigation Fellow Daina Bray, Professor Delcianna Winders and Professor Elan Abrell argue that a rights-centered One Health approach provides the necessary conceptual foundation for a new regulatory framework that can meaningfully address the interconnected rights, health, and well-being of humans, animals, and the environment.

Delcianna Winders is an associate professor of law and the Director of the Animal Law and Policy Institute at Vermont Law and Graduate School. Her scholarship focuses on the intersection of animal law and administrative law.

Elan Abrell is an assistant professor of the practice in Animal Studies, Environmental Studies, and Science in Society at Wesleyan University. He is the author of Saving Animals: Practices of Care and Rescue in the U.S. Animal Sanctuary Movement (University of Minnesota Press).

This event is co-sponsored by the Yale Animal Law Society, Yale Environmental Humanities, the Yale Environmental Law Association, and the Yale Sustainable Food Program.

 The Legal Status of Nonhuman Animals and Artificial Intelligences with Jeff Sebo

Thursday, Nov. 10, 12:15–1:15 p.m.

Sterling Law Building, Room 121

Register here: https://forms.gle/EAo1gVgHJDFPotbbA

Boxed lunches will be provided for those who register.

Nonhuman animals event poster
Human use of nonhuman animals contributes to pandemics, climate change, and other global threats which, in turn, contribute to biodiversity loss, ecosystem collapse, and nonhuman suffering. Similar dynamics are emerging in human use of artificial intelligences (AIs). New York University’s Jeff Sebo argues that, if and when AIs become sentient, our use of them will both harm AIs and contribute to global threats like war and totalitarianism that imperil us all. In this talk and Q&A, moderated by LEAP Postgraduate Fellow Laurie Sellars, Professor Sebo will connect lessons from his recent book, Saving Animals, Saving Ourselves, to issues arising from the development of potentially conscious artificial minds.

Professor Jeff Sebo is Clinical Associate Professor of Environmental Studies, Affiliated Professor of Bioethics, Medical Ethics, Philosophy, and Law, Director of the Animal Studies M.A. Program, and Director of the Mind, Ethics, and Policy Program at New York University. He is also an executive committee member at the NYU Center for Environmental and Animal Protection, an advisory board member at the Animals in Context series at NYU Press, a board member at Minding Animals International, a mentor at Sentient Media, and a senior research affiliate at the Legal Priorities Project.

This event is co-sponsored by the Yale Animal Law Society, Yale Environmental Humanities, the Yale Environmental Law Association, and the Yale Sustainable Food Program.