Say, in a laboratory somewhere within the United States, two scientists have managed to genetically engineer a gryphon from scratch (it's never existed before) capable of human speech and independent, rational thinking. The gryphon is given a rudimentary education in literature, maths, history and science for the first five (5) years of it's life, up to a senior in high school.
Soon enough, though, the scientists began having arguments over how to treat their creation:
- Scientist A wishes to treat the gryphon as a natural person regardless of the fact that it is an artificial construct, and thus believes that it should be entitled to the same rights and legal protections entitled to US citizens under the Constitution, based on its intelligence, capacity for speech and independent thinking.
- Scientist B views the gryphon as an invention that can be patented and as such is a company asset, based on the fact said that gryphon is the product of an original and unique process (or series of processes). They espouse that the gryphon cannot be a ‘natural person’ because it is not human, and thus believes that it is not protected under the Constitution regardless of it's intelligence.
As neither scientist could convince the other of their position, they take their argument to the Supreme Court of the United States (current panel of justices).
Now, my question is: Which side do you believe the SCOTUS would rule in favor of in this argument? Is Scientist A correct in citing intelligence and capability of speech as an argument for legal recognition of personhood (and thus constitutional rights), or is Scientist B correct in saying that the gryphon is property because it is an artificial construct, and thus able to be patented as an original invention (and, in doing so, implying it has no rights)? What precedent would this set for society, and how would this affect the application of constitutional rights in the long run in similar situations, say a cloned human?
Be rational, and provide logical support for your arguments (perhaps even precedent from past SCOTUS cases if at all possible).