Legal analysis of the problems of superherodom

Ryan Davidson and James Daily are lawyers and comic-book geeks, and they write the absolutely charming Law and the Multiverse blog, which involves intricate, hilarious analysis of the legalities of superheroes and supervillains, and considers appropriate policy responses to the social problems created by supers.

A delightful example: Superpowers and the Second Amendment:

First, many superpowers could be considered 'concealed weapons.' Before the Human Torch shouts 'flame on!' and activates his power, he appears to be an ordinary person. Could the government require a kind of Scarlet Letter to identify those with concealed superpowers? I think the answer is a qualified yes. I do not think the Constitution would tolerate requiring innately superpowered individuals to identify themselves continuously. That would seem to violate the constitutional right to privacy and the limited right to anonymity. Furthermore, simply keeping concealed weapons is allowed (e.g., a hidden gunsafe in a home). The real objection is to concealed weapons borne on the person in public.

Thus I believe the calculus changes when a superhero sets out to bear his or her powers against others in public (e.g. goes out to fight crime). Luckily, many superheroes already identify themselves with costumes or visible displays of power (e.g. Superman, the Human Torch). Beyond that, most states offer concealed carry permits to the public, usually after a thorough background check and safety & marksmanship training. It may well be that the Constitution requires that if a state will grant a concealed carry permit for a firearm then it must do the same for an otherwise lawful superpower.

(Thanks, Bruce!)
Loading...