Supergirl had an excellent premier, with homages to the 1978 Superman, Super-Friends, and honoring past actors who wore the House of El’s iconic symbol of hope. Bravo.

The episode left me wondering…has the government known all along that Kara was from another planet? Just how did Ma and Pa Danvers forge documents creating an identity for a teenager from another planet? Did the government assist with a cover-up of alien life? How did Kara have proof of vaccinations to attend public school?

While these questions highlight that lawyers can suck the fun out of life, they pose interesting issues.

First things first: Kara’s mother Alura In-Ze was a Judge. Rock on.

Kara’s foster parents would have had a far easier time with establishing a life for Kara with the aid of the government. It is unlikely Kara’s mom packed a birth certificate before Krypton exploded, so the Federal government assisting in creating a human identity for Kara would remove a lot of challenges. If not, it is highly likely Kara’s foster parents engaged in computer fraud and identity theft in order to create a new life for their adopted daughter. This would give new meaning to the term “illegal alien.”

The Federal Government (and specifically INS) could have given Kara top-secret refugee status. The law does not currently address a child escaping an exploding planet, but there is no doubt she is a refugee. Moreover, the government would not want to announce to the public the existence of aliens, given the societal and political backlash that would follow.

Supergirl does not exist in the cinematic world of Man of Steel, so the planet has not endured the trillions of dollars of damage from the battle with General Zod. This version of Superman might have the credibility from having saved the Earth multiple times for years, so asking the Government for a “favor” in creating an identity for his refugee cousin would not be asking for much.

Kara’s first act of heroism was saving a plane from crashing. The news coverage is overall positive, but there is criticism calling her a “human wrecking ball.”

Supergirl had no duty to rescue the crashing plane. If she had not taken any action, the plane would have crashed either in or around the city. There would have been 100% loss of life on the plane and mass casualties on the ground, especially if the plane crashed in a residential neighborhood.

Kara’s duty after beginning to rescue the plane was not to put it in a worse situation. She avoided colliding with the bridge, which would have resulted in loss of life and catastrophic property damage. Moreover, she made a successful water landing, thus avoiding injuring people on the ground (there is the matter of jet fuel in water, thus the Coast Guard would be busy with environmental clean-up, but that is better than hitting a building). Whether or not the flight attendants instructed passengers to put on lifejackets before exiting the plane is unknown, but that would fall on the airline’s duty as a common carrier, not Kara.

The more interesting question is whether or not the Government could, or should, keep secret there are alien criminals with super powers roaming the United States, with unknown plans, and hostile intentions towards Earth. Regardless of that answer, I look forward to the rest of the season.

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Josh Gilliland

Josh Gilliland is a California attorney who focuses his practice on eDiscovery. Josh is the co-creator of The Legal Geeks, which has made the ABA Journal Top Blawg 100 Blawg for 2013 to 2016, the ABA Web 100 for Best Legal Blog and Podcast categories, and was nominated for Best Podcast for the 2015 Geekie Awards. Josh has presented at legal conferences and comic book conventions across the United States. He also ties a mean bow tie.