Citizen’s Guide SCOTUS Fantasy League Rules and Disclosures

Posted: October 14, 2015 by beguide in Fantasy Supreme Court League

Playing fantasy sports is a bit of a double edge sword.  On one hand, the attention to detail required to predict the outcomes of games and individual performances introduces you to new teams and players that broaden horizons outside of your hometown preferences.  For example, In 2007 I made a mid-season pick-up Milwaukee Brewer’s rookie third baseman Ryan Braun and on the strength of his performance, I won a fantasy league for the first time.  Aside from the $220 I won, I also felt a sense of vindication that I never had before, as I had played fantasy sports for years earlier and could never bring home a championship much to my chagrin.  Even though Braun played for another team, and on one occasion played against my hometown Phillies in the playoffs, I still harbored admiration and respect for Braun and felt a sense of pride and joy when he won the National League MVP in 2009.  Fantasy sports broadened my fandom in baseball and all would have been great had this story ended in 2009.

Unfortunately, this story does not end in 2009, which presents the darker side of rooting for players based on personal investment.  Three years after my Championship in 2010, Ryan Braun was accused of steroid-use and was suspended for 50 games.  Due some clever legal-wrangling, Braun escaped punishment, but not the ire of baseball fans everywhere.  With Barry Bonds out of the league, Braun became the face of cheating in professional sports and was booed in every town outside of the great State of Wisconsin.  I tried to continue my support of Braun, but it was admittedly getting tough.  In that same 2010 season, I was at a game where Braun made a diving catch at which I instinctively and ever-so-sorftly pumped my fist.  My friend Pete, a loyalist Phillies and baseball fan, gave me the kind of look you would image bad parents give their kids before disowning them.  Four years later, we attended another Brewer’s game where Braun hit three homeruns, and I had to sit completely still and neutral to avoid Pete’s judging glare.  This kind of fandom, the “root for horrible people because you have to” kind of fandom, was completely unnecessary, but here I was, stuck rooting for some asshole because he won me money that I wasted at a bar ten minutes after I got it.  So in that token, fantasy sports are shitty and make you a traitor to all that is good and right with the world.

The purpose of the Citizen’s Guide to the Supreme Court fantasy league is not to impute these feelings on the participants, but I just want to give a disclosure before we get started.  Over the next nine months, we will be emailing cases that are covered on podcast episodes each week.  These cases will cover sensitive topics such as abortion, free speech, civil rights, and government procedure.  Sure, you could make predictions based on your political leanings, but much like wearing a sundress in a thunderstorm, that’s probably not going to result in a lot of wins. So my only warning at this point is watch what you wish for, as the last think you want to do is pump your fist at your local coffee house when you read that Judge Roberts as overturned Roe v. Wade and police are now allowed to strip search you on public highways without a warrant.
The scoring for each case will be 15 points for predicting the outcome, 25 points for predicting the split in justices and 30 points for guessing who writes the majority decision.  For those of you worried about how to answer these questions, the form for each case is actually quite simple, as you can just guess if you don’t know the answer or don’t care about the case.  For each scoring point, the following answers are accepted.
WHO WON – Appellant or Appellee.  Each email will show which is which and summaries of the cases will be posted to  Also, every case discussed on the podcast will make up the cases subject to fantasy scoring. Worth 15 points.
WHAT IS THE SPLIT – The answers here are numerical, the correct one is worth 25 points.
A plurality decision is when the Court can’t make up a decision and instead starts going into business for themselves.  If you feel this is going to happen, you are more than willing to pick this, but this is probably like guessing “00” on the roulette wheel.  Note that concurrences and dissents are not considered, and only true plurality decisions where there is no clear majority decision.
WHO WROTE THE DECISION – This answer is just one of the justices, and selecting the correct justice is worth 30 points. Since this is one of the more random points, it gets the most points.  Note that this is only for the majority decision, and no points are given for concurrences or dissents.
So that’s the long and the short of it.  If you are interested in participating, please just send an email to with the words “I’m in” and you will hereinafter be in, or just subscribe to this blog or our facebook page, where the links for each month’s ballot will be posted.  Good luck and have fun fiddling while Rome burns.
The deadline, theoretically, is the end of each month, but we’ll accept late submissions. We can’t accept submissions regarding cases that were decided beforehand, so that’s the risk you run if you’re late. Any cases on a ballot that are decided before that deadline will not count toward the final vote.

Here’s a big link to all the fantasy league posts.

  1. Nazim says:

    The winner is Lane. She should expect an appropriately punishing prize at some point in the not too remote future.


  2. Austin says:

    So what happens in the 4-4 draw situation. Are points awarded to those who said the appellee wins or no points are awarded for the winner.


  3. […] It’s only appropriate that we have an Epic plaintiff among our cases, since our new season of the SCOTUS Fantasy League leads constitutional liberty protections. I’m clearly not sure what I’m saying here, but I think the feeling is mutual. The November ballot is here. You probably know the rules, but if you don’t, they’re here. […]


  4. […] predict the outcome of a few US Supreme Court cases. Correct answers garner points as described per the rules, and the winner is selected posthumously. That is, after I kill them for getting more points than I […]


  5. […] the March ballot is here. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, go here, and if you want to vote in the older ballots while you still have time, look here. Void where […]


  6. […] details and rules can be found here. This isn’t a very serious thing, so if you take it too seriously, you’re going to be […]


  7. […] Okay, so, I apologize for the mess I’ve made for the past couple of ballots. But, I have an excuse: it was Brett’s fault. I won’t say more. Anyway, this is a thing where we compete to predict the outcomes of some US supreme court cases covered here recently. If you need rules, here they are. […]


  8. […] you have no idea what this is, please click to our somewhat-more-helpful page (trademark pending). In brief, you guess what US Supreme Court justices might do, and compare your […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s