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Paper Published: Crowdsourcing the Supreme Court

Many of our regular blog readers also participate in FantasySCOTUS. It’s a fun challenge for our users, and it keeps many of them coming back year after year (the cash prizes help, too).

FantasySCOTUS is more than just a game, though. It’s one of many studies researchers are performing in the still brand-new field of crowdsourcing. Crowdsourcing is the idea that we can predict future events better than one or a handful of experts. So far, many studies have found that this concept holds a lot of weight. The new research, published by CEO Michael Bommarito, CSO Daniel Martin Katz, and Director of Judicial Research Josh Blackman, adds to this growing body of support for the methods of crowdsourcing.

Graph of case-level model accuracy

Cumulative Case-Level Accuracy of Example and Baseline (“always guess reverse”) Models

The picture above shows the viability of the study. Generally speaking, it’s always a good idea to guess that SCOTUS will vote to reverse the lower ruling in any given case that comes before them. They do so nearly two-thirds of the time. In the graph above, the magenta line reflects this “always guess reverse” prediction and its probability. As you can see, “always guess reverse” once was one of the more accurate strategies. Over the years, though, the FantasySCOTUS Crowd and the researchers here have built and refined crowd-based models that have significantly better accuracy. We can now see the “wisdom of the crowd” in real time.

For more details on crowdsourcing the Supreme Court, and to download this new research, click here. If you’d like to learn more about FantasySCOTUS, visit our site. You can still join this latest term of FantasySCOTUS. The Supreme Court’s argument phase has only just started, and few decisions have been made yet. If you’d like to learn more about LexPredict and the many ways we’re changing the future of law and data, contact us for information about products and services.

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