This is a “somewhat” odd post. I am deliberately taking the case to its maximum extreme. The reason I have is, simply, because it may the only legitimate way to illustrate the problem.
Our modern world is obviously a world of contradictions. Humanity inately tends to conflict and divide, politically and otherwise. Republican against Democrat, Men against Women. people love the times when politics works for them, but despise the government stymies their efforts, even for the greater good of the nation and people.
I do not believe people would argue against it.
Our modern society has seen an ironic twist to history. The power of the focused, determined, immoral, ruthless individual has increased over time. Explosives, guns, and computers all open very big passages for the evil to exploit or harm others. AT the sam time, the United States government has become - and has been forced to become - more powerful. Technology, the demands of modern social programs and economies, the needs of a modern society, and the pressure of being the owrld’s only superpower have caused the government, Federal and State, to become very powerful. Even a small section of one department can wield enormous influence against a private citizen.
I am going to introduce a sci-fi element into this story.
All across the world, strange mutant genes have evolved and coalesced to allow people to do super-human feats. Not merely content with flowing with or bending the laws of physics, these Mutants shatter them consistantly. In fact, conventional science can be replaced by superscience of some eccentric geniuses, who can not only break scientific law, but can even accomplish feats out of the boundaies of logic and sense.
I call this “The X-Men Scenario”.
The result of this is an major increase in the destructive potential of a ruthless individual (see the parallel?). Supervillians can waltz right into a bank, tear off the vault door, and waltz out with 20$ million. And the police cannot even hinder them, much less stop them. (Imagine US v. Juggernaut :D)
Given this case scenario, would the government be justified in instituting a Mutant/SuperPowers Registration Act, a la the late or nto Senator Kelly? I am not asking for any answers with modern-day profiling built into it, except as examples to illustrate a point, so as to avoid the emotional justifications and the old Nazi versus Commie name calling.
For those not in the know, the Mutant Registration Act is a plot element of the X-Men Comic Series and movie. It involves the government recording the identities, known aliases, and powers of all known Mutants and superheroes. Technically, superheroes were not included, but I imagine the government would not make much distiction between a man who picks up a ten-ton truck because of freaky genes and one who does it via Secret Formula X.
In the comic, it was due to the fears (often justified via Magneto, Stryfe, Apokalypse, etc.) of Mutants destroying society. There was a strong racial/etnic anger on both sides, which is doubly ironic due to the fact that most of the Mutants born were in fact from Human parents! Sentaor Kelly recieved a more balanced treatment in the comic than in the movie, but both portrayed a man who loved America and was terrified by the thought of Mutants destroying it (which they nearly did many times).
Legally, I think the Constitution has enough leeway to possibly allow it, based on the Emergency Powers idea.
Morally, however, is a big gray area. How much threat must be present? Does the government have a right to do this at all? How many Mutant-Cased tragedies and near-armageddon scenarios must occur before people would change their mind? Could society survive with the threat of a single lone Mutant able to destroy the planet, or even a city? (See Magneto, Apokalypse, and several others)