Happy New Year from JoshBlackman.com, and 10 Predictions for 2010

December 31st, 2009

As I sit in my favorite airport in the world (Reagan National in Washington, D.C.), and enjoy free Wi-Fi courtesy of Google (if they only knew what I wrote about them), I take a moment to wish all of my family, friends, enemies, adversaries, Romans, countrymen, and canine (but not feline) friends a happy and blessed new year.

Also, I’d like to reflect a bit on the past couple months.

I launched this blog in September 2009. In less than 3 months, I have had over 30,000 visitors, written over 550 posts, received over 700 comments, and have raised some serious hell in the legal blogosphere. I just realized it, but in the past 24 hours, I’ve been linked to by Volokh 3 times! http://bit.ly/6MUIQo http://bit.ly/6fDoafhttp://bit.ly/8wC5Xu Win!

In November, I launched FantasySCOTUS.net. Within 1 month,  I gained over 3,000 members. I now have a weekly column on AboveTheLaw discussing predictions of the 10th Justice. FantasySCOTUS has been featured on CNN, NY Times Freakanomics Blog, and most of the top legal blogs. Justice Breyer was even asked about it an interview! While I won’t divulge the membership list, let’s just say several prominent professors are playing. Though, I haven’t found any Judges in the league-yet. Huge changes to FantasySCOTUS.net coming soon, including a forum to discuss cases, a facebook application, cert prediction game, and some other cool features. Stay tuned.

2010 will be a good year for the Harlan Institute for Constitutional Studies. I am working closely with my board, teachers, and constitutional law experts, to develop interactive web 2.0 technology to teach students about the Constitution and the Supreme Court. My aim is to have all of the features available for teachers to evaluate this Summer. Everything will be free for teachers, so I will be seeking non-profit status, and looking for grants. I already have some bites, but let me know if you you have any leads.

So, I have never made predictions before, but I tend to be opinionated. Might as well put my thoughts down, and see how I do.

  1. Justice Stevens retires at the end of the term, and President Obama appoints Elena Kagan to replace him. She gets confirmed, easily. I am currently hedging this bet, and writing an article about Kagan as the next Justice. If I’m correct, look for this article to go on SSRN the day BHO announces her as the nominee. And I will expect some media phone calls at that point.
  2. The Republicans do well in 2010, but not well enough to obtain a majority in either house. Though, the Dems no longer have 60, and can’t Rahm stuff through as easily.
  3. The Democrats pass some watered down climate bill, but not full-blown cap and trade. Like the watered down version of health care that annoyed the left, this will cause BHO to lose even more political capital from his base.
  4. Constitutional challenges to the Individual Health Care Mandate fail, and SCOTUS denies Cert (this may take longer than 1 year, but the Justices are not touching this with a 10 foot pole).
  5. Chicago’s gun ban in McDonald v. Chicago is struck down 5-4. In a concurring opinion, Justice Thomas proposes Privileges or Immunities as an alternative route to incorporation, and he cites Pandora (wishful thinking). In the dissenting opinions, the liberal Justices discuss Privileges or Immunities, and mention the possibility that it can be used to protect certain rights, but it does not protect the right to keep and bear arms. Either way, Slaughter-House is slaughtered. Statism FTL! Gura FTW!
  6. In Citizens United, the Supreme Court reverses the D.C. Circuit 5-4, but leaves most of BCRA untouched.
  7. FantasySCOTUS.net for OT2010 will be free for all, and hit 10,000 members, and I attract a very impressive sponsor (stay tuned).
  8. Penn State will win 11 games and go to a BCS Bowl. Joe Paterno will return for another year.  Rutgers joins the Big Ten. The New York Yankees repeat as 2010 World Champions. The Boston Red Sox lose to the Yankees in the ALCS in 5 games.
  9. Following the Yankee Win, Ilya Somin writes a bitter post on Volokh about subsidies for the New Yankee Stadium, and uses the phrase “Evil Empire” no less than 3 times during the playoffs. BTW, not really a prediction, but the Somin-Schmauch wedding will be the libertarian nerd nirvana event of the Season. And to round out my Ilya predictions, Ilya Somin will beat Ilya Shapiro, and reclaim the title in the Battle of the Ilyas.
  10. Someone will hack Google, releasing all of our personal information, and we will all be really, really screwed.

I hope 2010 is a year of freedom, prosperity, and liberty.

Till next year, my friends. Let’s see how I do.