LISTEN to the story
- Could the Ohio River have rights? A Movement to Grant Rights to the Environment Tests the Power of Local Control
- Voters Approve New Rights for Lake Erie (which a federal judge later ruled was unconstitutional)
“It would be something thinking outside of the box,” said CCAC president Quinton Bullock. (Bulluck is also a member of the board of directors of the Pittsburgh Community Broadcasting Corporation, which owns WESA and is the nonprofit fiscal agent for The Allegheny Front.)
“Legal personhood” does not usually grant a non-human entity the same rights as a homo sapien. Even in the U.S. Supreme Court’s controversial decisions granting personhood to corporations — in cases like Citizens United v Federal Elections Commission, when the Court sanctioned unlimited campaign donations from corporations — the designation is a limited one. Corporations don’t have a right to privacy, for example, or a right against self-incrimination. So it would surely be with a black gum.
Black gums are not native to Southwestern Pennsylvania. Terra0’s Kolling said the species was chosen because it should continue to thrive decades from now in what will likely be a much warmer Pennsylvania.