Something of a crystal ball into the Supreme Court’s forthcoming decision on the Affordable Care Act can be found at www.fantasySCOTUS.net, which is a “fantasy sports league” based not on baseball or football, but on the outcome of cases before the Supreme Court of the United States (“SCOTUS”). You can view a tally of predictions made to date on the various ACA issues before the Court, which suggests that the individual mandate might not survive (55% no) but that it probably won’t pull down the entirety of the law with it (70% yes on severabililty). The chances for survival of expanded Medicare coverage look pretty good, as well (73% yes).
The Fantasy SCOTUS site is a method that the nonprofit Harlan Institute devised in order to get high school students interested in the legal process and the Supreme Court, but it has garnered the attention and participation of the larger legal community. As to the site’s track record on other cases, it correctly predicts case outcome about 60% of the time, so it’s not much better than a coin toss (but more fun). The League rules are worth checking out – the “Neck Doily Badge” is awarded to the person who most accurately predicts the votes of Justice Ginsburg, and the “Transcendent Dimensions” Badge goes to the best predictor of Justice Kennedy’s crucial swing votes.
As for what is likely going on behind the scenes at the Court in these crucial weeks, check out this concise summary of the Court’s typical drafting and deliberations process. Its source, SCOTUSblog, is going to be ground zero on the day the Court reaches its health care reform decision and the site is already taking steps to cope with the anticipated tsunami of web traffic.