Is Tony-The-Tiger Law Unconstitutional?
The Animal Legal Defense Fund and former Representative Warren Triche Jr. have filed a lawsuit against the State of Louisiana challenging the new law that allows Tony the Tiger to remain at a Grosse Tete truck stop in Iberville Parish.
ALDF Director of Legislative Affairs, Chris Green, says this law is clearly unconstitutional.
"It turns out that the Louisiana Constitution has a provision that prohibits passing such 'special laws' that confer any right, privilege, or immunity only on one person, one association, or one corporation."
He says the law violates the Louisiana Constitution's ban on "special laws" that grant exclusive benefits to a private individual or interest. The measure exempts Michael Sandlin from a 2006 law prohibiting private ownership of dangerous large exotic cats. The law's author, Port Allen Senator Rick Ward, says the new legislation did not single out Sandlin.
"You know, all we did was go into the law that was passed back in 2006 and kind of pick up where they left off to define what 'previous ownership' was. And he happens to fall within that definition."
Green says it may take the courts a year or more to sort through the issue.