It’s official: Star Trek is now officially a part of Texas law. Ruling in Robinson v. Crown Cork Seal Co., Justice Don Willett cited an ancient maxim as the basis for his decision:
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 Vulcan), 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.
A brief mention, to be sure, but then in the footnotes appears this passage:
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.”
Radley Balko will be so proud. Not only did the decision invoke Vulcans, but it rolled back the state and arbitrary powers of excess for the police. The Wrath of Khan is now legal precedent in the State of Texas. Highly logical, indeed.