Fantasy sports have taken the nation by storm over the years. Fans of the NFL, NBA, and MLB have spent decades trying to predict how players will perform — and profit in the process. The phenomenon has spread outside the sporting world, with fantasy leagues based on reality shows like Survivor and The Bachelor. It was only amount of time before the highest court in all the land joined the fray.
FantasySCOTUS allows Supreme Court followers to predict how the Court will decide individual cases, down to how many justices vote to affirm or reverse a decision, as well as who will vote which way. If sounds incredibly nerdy, it is. But it’s a nerdy habit that could earn you money. While it’s free to play, the site has $10,000 in prizes up for grabs for the most accurate prognosticators.
But the predictions themselves could prove most valuable. Most users will likely be law students, professors, practicing attorneys, and others with a watchful eye on the legal issues presented before the Supreme Court, and the justices who decide them. Each listed case shows how users in general are expecting a given case to go. With such expertise, it could be a solid indicator of how the judicial branch will behave (for example, the recently argued Samsung v. Apple case is expected to be reversed in an 8-0 decision, as is last week’s Wells Fargo v. Miami. Of course, like all fantasy leagues, there are bound to be many participants who stop paying attention mid-season (er, mid-term), and guess randomly, which could taint the data.
FantasySCOTUS is sponsored by LexPredict, a legal analytics and service provider, founded by law professors Michael J. Bommarito and Daniel Martin Katz. LexPredict has also developed their own algorithm that predicts Supreme Court outcomes. According to the FantasySCOTUS homepage, the algorithm has 70% accuracy.
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