Justice Gorsuch?

No, this is not the name of some fictional judge from the Star Wars expanded universe. Instead, it is one of the candidates on President Trump’s short list of potential nominees for the U.S. Supreme Court. In particular, our colleagues Dan Katz, Mike Bommarito, and Josh Blackman recently launched a quasi-prediction market called “FantasyJustice.” Their site allows one to vote on who Trump will appoint to the Supreme Court. (We describe this site as a “quasi-prediction market” because, ideally, voters should be allowed to place bets to back up their votes, but unfortunately, federal law prohibits most forms of Internet gambling.) So, who is the front runner? Professor Blackman reports (edited by us for clarity): “Since we launched the FantasyJustice marketplace in November [2016], one judge has been consistently perched in first place: Judge Neil Gorsuch. Even though the conventional wisdom of the Federalist Society [a libertarian organization] … centered around judges Bill Pryor and Diane Sykes, Gorsuch continues to rise above all others. Why? We will write about the details in the future, but at a minimum, those selecting the Colorado-based judge had some insights that others did not. This [prediction may be] the function of the wisdom of the crowds.”

Update (1/31): Gorsuch it is! Now that we know who the nominee is, what is the probability that the Senate will confirm Trump’s man by the end of March?

Update #2 (2/1): Based on this actuarial table (via Josh Blackman), and the fact that federal judges have lifetime tenure, Judge Gorsuch (if confirmed) can be expected to serve on the Supreme Court bench for 22 years. Given that Mr Gorsuch is only a year older than me, this little exercise leads me to consider my own mortality and how little time we all have …

Image Credit: Josh Blackman

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