Star Trek cited by Texas Supreme Court

October 31, 2010

In an opinion delivered in the matter of Robinson v. Crown Cork and Seal on October 22, 2010, the Texas Supreme Court cited Mr. Spock, effectively making him a legal authority for interpreting the Texas Constitution.

In its opinion, the Court declares that “[T]his case concerns high-stakes issues far beyond chapter 149, principally how the Texas Constitution allocates governing power.” And further states:

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. That is, there must exist a societal peril that makes collective action imperative: “The police power is founded in public necessity, and only public necessity can justify its exercise.”22 (emphasis added)

Footnote 21 reads:

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.”

Live Long and Prosper, Y’all!!