Skip to main content

Superheroes and the Law



Is Batman a state actor for constitutional law purposes? Can the IRS tax Superman for squeezing coal into diamonds and not paying taxes? Can Ben Grimm sue Reed Richards for turning him into The Thing?  Important legal questions like these are addressed in one of the library’s newest books The Law of Superheroes by James Daily and Ryan Davidson. 

The Law of Superheroes takes a large chunk of the law, including Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, Evidence, Tort, and Administrative Law and applies it to the “facts” of the world of comic book superheroes and supervillains with interesting results. Super-characters have all sorts of adventures and applying legal analysis to those adventures makes for not only interesting context but is also instructive in teaching how the law works. I ask you, isn’t analyzing Superman’s immigration status (he’s an alien!) more interesting than reading some dry old Supreme Court case on immigration? While this volume is not a marriage of case book and comic book it does make for stimulating, yet light, legal reading. 

To answer the questions posed above:  Batman: Yes, see Edmonson v. LeesvilleConcrete Co., Inc. 500 US 614 (1991), Superman:  In the comic a senior IRS agent argues that since Superman had saved the world he could declare everyone as a deduction (doubtful), The Thing: No, Ben Grimm assumed the risk knowing that space exploration was dangerous.

The Law of Superheroes by James Daily and Ryan Davidson. K487 .L38 D35 2012

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Congressional Report on the Executive Authority to Exclude Aliens Released Days Before Immigration Ban

On January 27 President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order, Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States. Four days earlier, on January 24, the Congressional Research Service released its own report:  Executive Authority to Exclude Aliens: In Brief.
To those unfamiliar, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) is a federal legislative branch agency, housed inside the Library of Congress, charged with providing the United States Congress non-partisan advice on issues that may come before Congress, including immigration.
Included in the report are in-depth discussions on the operation of sections of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) in the context of the executive power . Discussions of sections 212(f),  214(a)(1) and 215(a)(1) report on how the sections have been used by Presidents, along with relevant case law and precedents. Most interesting is the list of executive orders excluding some groups of aliens during past presidencies; the table all…

GAO Launches Government Transition App

Want to learn more about the upcoming presidential and congressional transitions? There’s an app for that. 

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently launched its Priorities for Policy Makers app (available free of charge for iPhone or Android), which is intended to “help President-elect Donald Trump and the next Congresstackle critical challenges facing the nation, fix agency-specific problems, and scrutinize government areas with the potential for large savings,” according to Gene Dodaro, Comptroller General of the United States and head of the GAO. The app allows users to search by agency or topic, and provides brief summaries of relevant issues as well as links to more detailed GAO reports. 

You can also find GAO priority recommendations on the agency’s Presidential and Congressional Transition web pages.