The Volokh Conspiracy

Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent


Congratulations to Bill Corteal, the Chief Justice of FantasySCOTUS OT 2021


The October 2021 Term of FantasySCOTUS has come to a close. This term was one for the ages. And FantasySCOTUS did quite well. In the aggregate, our crowd predicted 81% of the cases accurately.

This year, the Chief Justice of the league was Bill Corteal. Players receive ten points for each correct prediction of a Justice's vote. We recorded 59 merits cases (DIGs do not count). A perfect score would have been 5,900 points. Bill, who has scored 4760 points. The runners-up scored 4750 and 4740 points.

Bill Corteal

Bill received a B.A. from Cal State Fullerton and a J.D. from Chapman University School of Law. He developed his interest in the Supreme Court in a freshman political science class. He read The Brethren by Woodward and Armstrong and "has been hooked on the Court ever since." He has played FantasySCOTUS since 2014.

I asked Bill how he predicts cases. He listens to the recordings on Oyez, and written commentary about the arguments. Bill explained, "As each wing of the court is not monolithic, and understanding the jurisprudence of each justice helps in predicting independent decisions." Bill did say that intellectual property cases were the most difficult to the predict. (It is always a safe bet that the Federal Circuit will be reversed.)

I also asked Bill if the recent changes to the Court's composition affected his ability to predict cases. He replied no. "There is a little unpredictability when a new justice comes on to the court." Bill added, " Justice Barrett has been a little easier to predict, but there is a new justice on the court next term."

Congratulations to Bill. He stands in a long tradition of champions, including Jacob Berlove, who was profiled in FiveThirtyEight.

The next term of FantasySCOTUS will begin its fourteenth season on the first Monday in October, 2022.