Be The Tenth Justice in FantasySCOTUS

October 20, 2010 -

The FairfaxCounty Times profiles Josh Blackman, a 2009 graduate of George Mason University's law school, who (for the purpose of discussion here) created an interesting fantasy league game about the Supreme Court. That game, www.fantasyscotus.net, lets users be the "tenth justice," deciding (or predicting the outcomes of) the big cases of the day.

"The idea really began last year during the [Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission] case," Blackman told the paper. "A friend ... was like, 'What do you think the odds are on this case?' ... I took that idea and ran with it."

The fantasy league game is in its second year, and has about 5,000+ participants.

Competitors in the league try to predict what a justice will do with a given case: vote to affirm, reverse to the lower court or recuse themselves from a case. Ten points are awarded for each correct answer and various awards and badges of honor are given out based on performance. The player with highest score is awarded the Golden Gavel trophy and is the title of Chief Justice of FantasySCOTUS.

While the league is available to the public, this year there is a special version of the league for teachers and students with the help of the Harlan Institute. The school program plans on focusing on five cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, including Snyder v. Phelps, and Schwarzenegger v. Entertainment Merchants Association, which will decide whether the California law restricting the sale of violent video games violates game creators' free speech.

Teachers can learn more about how to sign up at harlaninstitute.org.

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