The Jackalope’s Legality

Anyone who visits the western United States will eventually come across a postcard of the jackalope, a mythic cross between a jack rabbit and a Pronghorn antelope. But, as far as I know,  the jackalope had never made an appearance in a legal opinion from any court anywhere. But last week, the animal was immortalized by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago. Confronted with a case involving a group of former employees seeking penalties under Indiana law against stockholders of their former corporate employer,  the court ruled against the employees.  In disposing of the claim, Judge Easterbrook wrote:

Plaintiffs want to combine the Indiana statute, which makes employers liable for penalties when they do not pay wages on time, with the New York statute, which makes some equity investors directly liable to workers for wages and benefits. Yet neither state passed such a hybrid law, which the district judge likened to a griffin or jackalope. (A griffin is a mythical creature, but a jackalope is the main character in the short film Boundin’ and therefore must exist. Surely Pixar would not mislead millions of children.)


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