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Monday, May 09, 2011

Star Trek II officially a legal authority

Back in 2008 the Texas Supreme Court ruled on the limits of police power in the case of Robinson vs. Crown Cork Seal Company. The most noteworthy aspect of the ruling is that Justice Don R. Willett quoted a line from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan:
Appropriately weighty principles guide our course. First, we recognize that police power draws from the credo that "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few." Second, while this maxim rings utilitarian and Dickensian (not to mention Vulcan21), it is cabined by something contrarian and Texan: distrust of intrusive government and a belief that police power is justified only by urgency, not expediency.
And the accompanying footnote:
21 See STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN (Paramount Pictures 1982). The film references several works of classic literature, none more prominently than A Tale of Two Cities. Spock gives Admiral Kirk an antique copy as a birthday present, and the film itself is bookended with the book's opening and closing passages. Most memorable, of course, is Spock's famous line from his moment of sacrifice: "Don't grieve, Admiral. It is logical. The needs of the many outweigh..." to which Kirk replies, "the needs of the few."

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