Here are some of my choice quotes:
Forget about baseball, football and the Academy Awards. The hottest new fantasy-league game involves the Supreme Court.A month-old Web site called FantasySCOTUS.net allows people to predict all of the high court’s pending cases.
Josh Blackman, a law clerk for U.S. District Judge Kim Gibson in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, created the game in his spare time.
“In the digital age, everyone has an opinion and is eager to share it,” Blackman said. “They know how a case will come out, and this gives them a way to play a justice.”
The court itself is not involved in FantasySCOTUS, and it does not endorse it. Court sources say, however, that several justices are aware of the fantasy league and find it interesting. Blackman said that to his knowledge, no judges — federal or state — have signed up to play.
“Most of the participants are students, I’d say about 90 percent,” he said. “I’ve been contacted by high schools and middle schools across the country. Teachers are having their students play. They say it’s a great way to get them involved in understanding the Constitution and how laws are interpreted. They can wrap their hands around it. It’s an experience you don’t get by just reading a text.”
Blackman said the campaign spending case inspired him to create his Web site last month.
“A friend asked me how I thought the case might turn out, and I wondered, ‘If [Las] Vegas put odds on it, what would it be?’ ” Blackman said. “And I thought, why not create a site to do just that?”
Blackman said no money is wagered on his league, which requires serious gamers to do at least some research on current and past cases.
“We’ll never know what goes on behind chambers, when the justices decide these very important cases,” he said. “But when you get past the grandeur, the mystery of the court, this league is something where anybody can participate. It’s not just for the legal nerd. The cases come down to facts, to law. It makes people feel like they are more involved in understanding what goes on up there.”