Citizen Crime Fighting Act

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The Citizen Crime Fighting Act is the overall law in the now-defunct City of Heroes MMO that legalizes the use of citizen vigilantes in Paragon City. It was written to justify the continued operation of the Freedom Phalanx in the 1930's, but later became the model for other governments to validate and regulate vigilante and superhero activities.

Background

Early History

Prior to the CCFA passage in 1937, actions by heroes such as Statesman were considered illegal acts of vigilantism. While the police privately welcomed such assistance, especially when dealing with organized crime and would-be tyrants like Nemesis, they could not publicly count on or support on that help.

Worse yet, criminal attorneys began to contest the charges made by their clients because the heroes who bore witness to their activities were wearing masks. Since they themselves were anonymous, there was no way the attorneys could determine if the heroes were telling the truth.

And although the legal system erred on the side of the heroes, legal experts speculated that barring a legislative remedy, it was only a matter of time before the legal system began throwing out any case involving the actions of a civilian vigilante.

Citizen Crime Fighting Act of 1937

After a sweep of pro-hero politicians in Paragon City in 1936, the mayor signed into law the Citizen Crime Fighting Act. The law, which was carefully vetted by legal scholars, allowed for citizen participation in crime-fighting provided they adhere to the same legal restrictions of law enforcement and that they register with the police department.

The law eventually became the blueprint for other cities and states to adopt similar legislation as more and more costumed avengers followed the examples of the Freedom Phalanx.

Masked Militia Act of 1942

Following the Japanese attack of Pearl Harbor and the attempted German invasion of Rhode Island, President Franklin Roosevelt signed into law the Masked Militia Act, which created the first-ever Federal Bureau for Super-powered Affairs (FBSA), which coordinated with local law enforcement agencies to form a collective army of superheroes to prevent future invasions.

Revised Citizen Crime Fighting Act of 1952

In 1952, the CCFA was modified again to deal with several loopholes that the original act did not cover.

  • The revised law was extended to include superhero organizations, provided they also register with the local government and that their members adhere to all police responsibilities.
  • A provision was included that allowed normal unregistered civilians to legally defend themselves under an immediate threat. This was a legal oversight that came to light after a war veteran was charged with being an unregistered vigilante for defending himself from a mugging.
  • Due to the rise of McCarthyism, a loyalty oath to oppose communism was included into the provision but was later ruled unconstitutional.

Might For Right Act

In 1956, Congress passed and President Eisenhower signed into law the controvercial Might For Right Act. This federal law declared that all registered vigilantes and super-powered beings could be drafted into the service of the United States Government at any time, for any reason, for an indefinite period.

The law was declared unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court in 1967.

Revised Citizen Crime Fighting Act of 2003

Following the Rikti Invasion of 2002, Paragon City was devastated, and its police force virtually non-existent.

To maintain law and order while rebuilding the city, the CCFA was revised again to extend law enforcement powers and responsibilities to the Freedom Corps. This was seen as a temporary provision, but it allowed for Longbow agents to operate in Atlas Park in lieu of the police.