Legalizing Schmitt’s “Legality and Legitimacy”

The “Preussen Contra Reich” case of 1932 marks a unique chapter in understanding Carl Schmitt’s work. The removal of the Prussian state government by the Weimar federal government, under an emergency decree, would be known as the “Preussenschlag”. The Prussian government would challenge the decree’s legality. During the opening arguments from the Prussian government direct reference is made to Schmitt’s “Legality and Legitimacy”. A first reference is made by Dr. Brecht regarding Schmitt’s principle of “equal chance”. A second reference is made by Dr. Peters regarding Schmitt’s theory on “extraordinary actions”. Acting as counsel for the Weimar government, Schmitt responds to Dr. Brecht and elaborates on his principle of “equal chance”. The first objective of this paper will be to present the arguments referring to “Legality and Legitimacy” in the “Preussen Contra Reich” case. The second objective is to question Schmitt’s principle on “equal chance” and theory on “extraordinary action”.