With the new Star Trek movie opening today, we have collected a list of resources that are perfect for those of you who are both legal geeks and Trekkies. And, even if you are only one of the above, these resources provide some interesting information about the franchise that spawned what is sure to be one of the biggest movies of the summer.
- A Nerdery Trekkie Rates the Prenda Law Ruling’s Star Trek References: As you may have heard, the recent Prenda Law ruling by Judge Otis D. Wright II included a number of Star Trek references. This article provides analysis of the references and how they relate back to Star Trek.
- 8 Ways That Judges Have Cited Star Trek From the Bench: If the Prenda Law ruling above didn’t satisfy your desire to see Star Trek references by judges, check out this io9 article rounds up 8 of the best examples of judges citing to Star Trek.
- The Legal Geeks on Star Trek: If your life has been missing a legal analysis of Star Trek plot points, The Legal Geeks have you covered. From Tribble as an invasive species to whether Red Shirts have knowingly assumed the risk of their job, they offer plenty of material to make you look at Star Trek in a whole new way.
- Start Trek Visions of Law and Justice: This book is a collection of essays on the legal system showcased in Star Trek and its connections to current American and International law.
- New Boundaries in Political Science Fiction: Each chapter of this book considers a different aspect of politics in science fiction, with two chapters devoted specifically to the political aspects of Star Trek.
Law Review Articles
- The Law of the Federation: Images of Law, Lawyers, and the Legal System in “Star Trek: The Next Generation”: This 1992 article by Paul Joseph and Sharon Carton considers the legal system portrayed in “Star Trek: The Next Generation.”
- The Interstellar Relations of the Federation: International Law and “Star Trek: The Next Generation”: In this article from 1994, Michael P. Scharf and Lawrence D. Roberts provide a counterpart to Joseph and Carton’s article, this time considering the law of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” from an international or interstellar point of view.
- Lillich on Interstellar Law: U.S. Naval Regulations, Star Trek, and the Use of Force in Space: Writing in the South Dakota Law Review in 2001, Thomas C. Wingfield limits his consideration of the law and Star Trek to the use of force and how laws related to the use of force might some day apply in space.
- Captain James T. Kirk and the Enterprise of Constitutional Interpretation: Some Modest Proposals from the Twenty-Third Century: In this article, Michael Stokes Paulsen writes about an episode of the original Star Trek series which he argues in the very first sentence of the article contains “a stunning and prophetic parable about constitutional interpretation.”
I hope you have enjoyed this brief foray into the Star Trek’s connection to law and politics. If you are craving still more legal readings related to Star Trek, I would recommend searching out the large number of law review articles that discuss the copyright implications of Star Trek fan fiction and other fan works for some interesting thoughts on the boundaries of copyright. And, if you are someone who still prefers to use books to conduct legal research, you might enjoy the clip below: