Does Power Girl (Kara Zor-L) living on Earth 1 mean she is committing false impersonation or identity theft of Supergirl (Kara Zor-El)?
In order to solve this “Identity Crisis,” we first must understand the legal flashpoints of false impersonation and identity theft. While further legal review might identify as many as 52 separate legal issues of the same individual from parallel worlds living in the same universe, we will focus on dueling dual Karas.
Assuming Supergirl is based in Kansas, the following laws control:
False impersonation “is representing oneself to be a public officer, public employee or a person licensed to practice or engage in any profession or vocation for which a license is required by the laws of the state of Kansas, with knowledge that such representation is false.” 2009 Kan. HB 2668(a).
Identity theft is obtaining, possessing, transferring, using, selling or purchasing any personal identifying information, or document containing the same, belonging to or issued to another person, with the intent to:
(1) Defraud that person, or anyone else, in order to receive any benefit; or
(2) Misrepresent that person in order to subject that person to economic or bodily harm.
K.S.A. § 21-6107(a).
The answer to whether Power Girl is infringing on Supergirl’s legal rights is odd, because they are the same person from two different universes. Moreover, the very fact that Kara Zor-L and Kara Zor-El should be the same down to the cellular level makes analysis strange to say the least.
As to the issue of false impersonation, Supergirl would have to be authorized by the Federal or state government to conduct law enforcement activities in order to meet the basic elements of false impersonation in Kansas.
If Supergirl is not a state actor in her law enforcement actions, then she would not be covered by the Kansas statute. However, being a member of the Justice League, we can assume Supergirl has legal authority to conduct law enforcement activities, thus would be covered by the statute.
Even though Kara Zor-L has the same powers and name pronunciation as Kara Zor-El, Power Girl does not introduce herself as Supergirl. Moreover, the two have different uniforms, fighting styles, and dissimilar personalities. From an objective level, it would appear that Power Girl does not impersonate Supergirl.
Identity theft is somewhat tricky. If Kara Zor-L applied for a driver’s license in Kansas, it is safe to assume she would have the same fingerprints as Kara Zor-El (Plus, both have challenges with producing original or certified birth certificates, unless Kansas will accept documents from two separate Kryptons, or that they are lawfully present in the United States, giving a new meaning to “illegal aliens”).
Theoretically, the physical similarities between Kara Zor-L and Kara Zor-El would include everything from retina down to both Kryptonians’ DNA. Moreover, Kansas requires “mandatory facial image capture” (or as normal people call it, taking a picture), which should produce a conflict with facial recognition technology. K.S.A. § 8-1324(j). As such, the very act of getting a driver’s license would access Supergirl’s secret identity and personal identifiable information. Therefore, if Kara Zor-L were to get a driver’s license, that could be a “benefit” based on Kara Zor-El’s identity.
The issue would come down to intent and whether Kara Zor-L “knowingly” was trying to unlawfully gain a benefit based on Kara Zor-El’s personal information. However, when you have two individuals who are physically more like a clone and less like a twin, the law is not designed for such situations.