Agent Alex Danvers on Supergirl decided to go big in violating the United States Constitution in the episode “Bizarro.” In the episode, Maxwell Lord has taken comatose women and performed medical experiments upon them to create a “Bizarro” Supergirl clone. Lord knows Kara is Supergirl and that she is Alex’s sister.

Danvers in rightly upset that Maxwell Lord should be arrested for possibly kidnapping of comatose women; unlawful medical experiments in violation of the Nuremberg Code of Ethics in Medical Research and Declaration of Helsinki to prohibit unethical experiments on living human beings, which is codified as law in California pursuant to Cal Health & Saf Code § 24171; and terrorism in using Bizarro Supergirl as his agent in carrying out domestic terrorism. There is no shortage of probable cause for the FBI or local law enforcement to arrest Maxwell Lord.

Problem: the DEO does not have jurisdiction to conduct law enforcement, only protect the United States from alien threats. Moreover, the Federal agency is secret, so the FBI is not even aware of the DEO’s existence.

Alex Danvers took armed DEO Agents to Maxwell Lord’s office and arrested him without stating the charges against him or reading him his Miranda rights. Lord was then taken to the DEO and placed in a holding cell.

Maxwell Lord was deprived of his Fourth Amendment rights by arresting him without stating the charges against him; violated his Fifth and Sixth Amendment Rights to counsel; denied him the writ of habeas corpus; and a host of other issues from false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, false arrest, unlawful arrest, and possibly cruel and unusual punishment (like where is the bathroom in his cell).

There is no exception to the United States Constitution for someone’s sister being threatened. Max’s well-paid lawyers could sue the United States government for his civil rights violations AND Alex Danvers under a 1983 action.

Here is how Alex is in a boatload of trouble:

Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory or the District of Columbia, subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress, except that in any action brought against a judicial officer for an act or omission taken in such officer’s judicial capacity, injunctive relief shall not be granted unless a declaratory decree was violated or declaratory relief was unavailable.

42 USCS § 1983 (Emphasis added).

Alex Danvers knew the DEO lacked any jurisdiction to arrest Maxwell Lord, yet arrested him anyway under the color of her authority as a DEO Agent. This cannot stand. Lord could sue her personally, as there is nothing to give her any immunity as acting for conducting her unlawful arrest.

Let’s hope Alex knows a good lawyer for playing Star Chamber with Maxwell Lord.

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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, 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.