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#FantasySCOTUS Update: Crowds and Algorithm Get Outcome In DirecTV v. Imburgia, but Miss Odd Split

DirectTV v. Imburgia presented a question of whether the Federal Arbitration Act preempts California Law. The vote was 6-3, but with a relatively odd lineup. Justice Breyer wrote for the Court, joined by Chief Justice John G. Roberts and Justices Scalia, Kennedy, Alito, and Kagan. Justice Thomas dissented by himself, noting “that the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA), 9 U. S. C. §1 et seq., does not apply to proceedings in state courts,” keeping with his decisions in five previous cases.

I remain of the view that the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA), 9 U. S. C. §1 et seq., does not apply to proceedings in state courts. See Allied-Bruce Terminix Cos. v. Dobson, 513 U. S. 265, 285–297 (1995) (dissenting opinion); see also Preston v. Ferrer, 552 U. S. 346, 363 (2008) (same); Buckeye Check Cashing, Inc. v. Cardegna, 546 U. S. 440, 449 (2006) (same); Green Tree Financial Corp. v. Bazzle, 539 U. S. 444, 460 (2003) (same); Doctor’s Associates, Inc. v. Casarotto, 517 U. S. 681, 689 (1996) (same). Thus, the FAA does not require state courts to order arbitration. Accordingly, I would affirm the judgment of the California Court of Appeal.

Justice Ginsburg, in a separate dissent, argued that the majority decision restricts “access to justice.” Justice Ginsburg was joined in her dissent by Justice Sotomayor.

Both the FantasySCOTUS Crowd and the {Marshall}+ Algorithm correctly predicted the outcome, but neither predicted the split. Both predicted unanimous reversals.

directv imburgia

DirecTV v. Imburgia

In a rare outcome, not a single user anywhere correctly predicted the opinions of all 9 Justices. A few users predicted that Ginsburg and Sotomayor alone would dissent, but these users were a slim minority.

no perfect score directv imburgia

No Perfect Score for DirecTV

Another curiosity: this is a fairly divided opinion to be issued so early in the term. The first month of the term is usually reserved for unanimous decisions.

That’s all for 2015. See you next year!