Superman. What would the ACLU do about him?

Last night the news was going on about Infrared video cameras and filters that allow similiar results when attached to a regular camera, and interviewing all of the outraged local citizens that such an item can allow someone to “see them nekkid” while out shopping.

So I wondered. In this day and age of apparent prudism in America, civil rights, blah blah blah… Would a guy like Superman, who could not only save children on a school bus plunging over a cliff, but see through walls, clothing and do anything he wanted (sans kryptonite, of course) be an accepted member of society, or would laws be written to prevent him from being allowed on the streets? Would his mere presence violate rights because of his X-ray vision?

And if bullets bounce off of his chest, why does he duck when an empty gun is thrown at him?


Hey, even if someone throws a Nerf ball at you, your instincts tell you to duck!

More of a great debates question than a GQ one. But if he were so powerful, I doubt that the laws could do anything about it, anymore than passing a law declaring the Earth to be Flat would do anything about the Earth’s curvature.

No. The Constitutional Rights we have only prevent the government from infringing on your privacy.

Because it might hit him in the head!

This is a marvelous thread title, it made my night.

I think the real issue here, though, is by what authority, exactly, he does any of his good deeds. Sure, saving the school children on the bus is admirable, but I think he takes the concept of “citizen’s arrest” a little too far. If he’s not an agent of the government, is he using excessive force to aprehend criminals? When he bursts into their lairs, is he not breaking and entering?

I’m not certain - I’m not a huge fan of Superman - but I think in some versions of the story he is actually deputised by the mayor or metropolis to allow him to deal with criminals without becoming a vigilante. Posiibly at some stage the president enlages this to cover america (and, of course, the rest of the world, because everyone copies america… :D)

Of course, I could be fantasising this completely - Fenris would know

Well, couldn’t they get him for voyerism? For being a Peeping Tom or something?

Which kinda points to his being an actual alien, since he never was too busy gawking with his x-ray vision at all the nekkid splendor around him to prevent his saving a busload of children…

Well, it’s probably easier for him since he doesn’t have to waste time imagining what people would look like naked. He knows already.

Then again, it must be pretty disturbing to see a lot of those people bare ass.

After 9/11, he’d a been slapped in a prison cell as an illegal alien.

The Marvel universe has a good answer for that. You know, the X-Men, Spiderman, Hulk, etc. In the Marvel universe, those gifted with special powers are branded as mutants and are feared and scorned by society. Some fight for mutant and human equality, others flee human sight, others fight against the humans. It’s a beautiful metaphor on racism, really.

Nitpick: Not every person with super powers is a mutant. SpiderMan and the Hulk are not mutants but altered humans. The X-Men, by contrast, are mutants.

Zev Steinhardt

I know that, but I wasn’t gonna post a 60 page essay detailing the rough outline to the Marvel world. :wink:

P.S.: Common stereotype is that comic books such as X-men are nothing but fantasy filled stupidness. Well, reading those comic books and reading a phychology manual is roughly the same thing. You could write for a damn long time about it!

Can you imagine a judge denying him a search warrant?

Quite, here’s some words to live by. Never piss off anyone capable of pushing your planet out of orbit.

"Due Process! Yours words good enough for me sir. Oh, and here’s the keys to the city and a free pass to do anything you like.If your in tonight don’t forget to watch “Superman- boy isn’t he great” showing on all channels.

Hee hee hee. Just had a brainflash of the Twilight Zone episode “It’s a Good Life,” with Supes in the Billy Mumy role.

Which was of course parodied (even down to most of the opening voiceover) in

Tree house of Horror II

But isn’t Superman such a goody goody that he would not break the law? If somebody sued Superman he would show up in court and abide by the courts decision I imagine. Of course the judge would give him ‘community service’ and big wink.