Law and the Multiverse Classics – Christmas Edition

Many parts of the world will observe Christmas tomorrow.  In case you missed it two years ago—or want to check it out again—here’s our classic post on Santa Claus and the law.

4 responses to “Law and the Multiverse Classics – Christmas Edition

  1. Wow. Has it been two years already?

    I know I have already e-mailed you guys about this -and indeed it is Christmas so maybe you are on vacation- but I am excited about this question: is the Iron Man armor considered a weapon or is it just a vehicle? In Iron Man II, the government told Tony Stark he had to give them the Iron Man armor because it was a weapon. I didn’t pick up on the analogy that the writers were making here: Tony Stark doesn’t invoke the 2nd amendment to defend his right to keep the Iron Man armor but he does claim that he “Single-handedly brought about world peace” which is essentially the same argument. Does he even have to make that argument though? A car can be used to kill someone if you run them down but we don’t normally think of a car as a weapon. Confiscating the Iron Man suit would be like confiscating the Batmobile. Actually, given that Batman probably violates traffic laws routinely while driving the Batmobile Gotham City might have a case if they said they were going to confiscate the Batmobile. Similarly the government might want to cite air safety regulations if they wanted to take the Iron Man armor away from Tony Stark. Would that work any better?

    So what do you think? In Iron Man II, did the government have any case or is the Iron Man armor Tony’s personal property and they can take it from him only when they “pry it from his cold dead hands”?

    • Oh and if you look at specific Batmobile designs things get even worse for Batman: the Batmobiles from the TV shows and movies could all shoot flame out of the back and the ones from the Burton films also shot rounds that could penetrate solid steel. The bat pod from the last Nolan film also had automatic weapons on both sides so that would be a weapons violation right there, which may be a moot point seeing as how Batman was clearly operating outside the law by this point. Most of the modifications to the car in the Green Hornet movie were probably illegal too although, again, it is a moot point if the Green Hornet is wanted by the police for other reasons.

    • Considering some of the things on it I seriously doubt that the Iron Man suit will be protected by the Second Amendment. If a private citizen attached a rifle to a land mine that’s not going to stop the police from deciding to remotely detonate both.

      • I can think of one argument though. IIRC, the suit is actually keeping Stark alive; something to do with shrapnel from the bomb in wherever it was the first suit was developed. essentially, an integral part of the suit could well be required for Tony Stark’s continued survival. The US government cannot legally force a citizen to kill themselves unless I am much mistaken, so Tony Stark cannot turn over the whole Iron Man suit.

        anyway, assuming you mean the non-life-critical parts of the suit, what about Eminent Domain? AFAIK, Eminent Domain is forcibly sale of property. I don’t think it specifies type of property.

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