Jessica Mederson and I started our adventure on The Legal Geeks on July 12, 2012. The past two years have been a wonderful experience providing legal analysis of comics, science fiction, and pop culture. Meeting our fellow geek lawyers who love sci fi has been extremely rewarding.
I want to thank everyone who has supported us. I am always humbled when people come up to me at an event to say they read our blog. We hope you continue to enjoy The Legal Geeks.
The Legal Geeks Year 2
The last year has been a fun time to be a geek. I loved blogging about Agents of SHIELD each week, the fantastic issues in Captain America The Winter Soldier, and I could have taught law school classes from Almost Human. The celebration around the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who also provided many opportunities to pick up action figures and go full geek at Gallifrey Stands!
I cannot wait for Guardians of the Galaxy, Agent Carter, The Flash, Sleepy Hollow, Gotham and the other wonders awaiting in the fall.
Let’s Get Geekie
One of my ideas of fun is connecting the law to science fiction. For example, if we discovered a colony of dinosaurs, would they be protected by the Endangered Species Act? Moreover, would the Dinobots of Transformers fame qualify as an “Endangered Species”? And the question everyone wants an answer to, could the US Department of Fish and Wildlife STOP Steven Spielberg once and for all from hunting fictional dinosaurs?
Before anyone running for Congress puts out a 7 figure bounty for naked photos of one of the best directors who ever lived for “hunting” a triceratops, let’s break down the legal issues of Dinosaurs and Dinobots:
First, a “species” is “any subspecies of fish or wildlife or plants, and any distinct population segment of any species of vertebrate fish or wildlife which interbreeds when mature.” 16 U.S. CODE § 1532(16).
Second, a species is “endangered” if it is “in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range.” 16 U.S. CODE § 1532(6).
Third, a species is “threatened” if it is “likely to become an endangered species within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range.” Id. § 1532(20). Conservation Force, Inc. v. Jewell, 733 F.3d 1200, 1202 (D.C. Cir. 2013).
There is no doubt that a dinosaur would qualify as a species. Depending on its food supply and potential interruption of its range would determine if it would be endangered or threatened. It might simply be rare and something to be left alone. Unless you want a 40 foot eating machine to turn you into a snack.
A Dinobot such as Grimlock is a bit more complicated because he is a living alien machine (in the movies). A Dinobot might not qualify as a “species” under the law, because the law is not designed for alien robots. It is still unclear if Transformers breed, because of the line in Age of Extinction about Optimius Prime being created not born, vs the dialog between Megatron and Starscream in Dark of the Moon about the “hatchlings,” implying either procreation or construction.
As for Steven Spielberg who has made going to the movies since 1975 AWESOME, he was sitting next to a prop of an animal that went extinct over 65 million years ago. If one were alive, you know Spielberg would help it go home.
I’ll Be Right Here
I want to thank everyone who has read our blog for the last two years.
The ABA Journal is now accepting “Friend of the Blawg” briefs for the ABA Journal Blawg 100. If you enjoy our blog, we would be honored to have your nomination.
Until then, we will continue to steer for the second star on the right to the future.