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Texas Supreme Court Decision Cites Spock's Vulcan Logic

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In a court of law, it's not always double homicides and kidnappers crossing state lines. More often than not, judges have to sit through the dullest of legal predicaments: zoning disputes, contractual infractions, patent litigation, etc. In situations like these, the presiding judge has to find something -- anything -- to keep from slamming his forehead with the gavel.

Texas Supreme Court Justice Don R. Willett, for example, decided to use a case regarding asbestos claims as a springboard to show off his shiny geek badge.

In his opinion filed in October, Willett cited lessons learned from Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock in 1982's classic sequel Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. His decision read:

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.

As for the footnote:

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."

Despite the geeky allusion, it does amount to a relevant position. Much more so than the comparison of maritime law to the fifth Dr. Who.

But of course, his odd-numbered rulings are always pretty lacking.
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