Ed. note: ATL has teamed up with the 10th Justice to predict how the Supreme Court may decide upcoming cases. CNN has called FantasySCOTUS the “hottest new fantasy-league game.”
In the four months since I launched FantasySCOTUS.net, nearly 4,000 people have signed up, and made nearly 8,000 predictions for the 81 cases currently pending before the Supreme Court. When designing the system, I decided to allow people to make predictions up until the moment a case is decided by the Supreme Court. On days when opinions are handed down, I lock down the voting once I see that the Court has issued an opinion for a specific case. On Wednesday, the Supreme Court announced Maryland v. Shatzer at 10:00 a.m. I did not lock down the votes until around 11:30 a.m. In this period, several members changed their votes to get more points.
Really? Cheating on a Fantasy League with no cash prizes? What would motivate someone to do this? And what should I do about it?
The league does not have any rules against cheating. When crafting this league, I thought it was pretty obvious that people should not cheat. In fact, I designed this league based on the honor system. On the Sign Up page, I wrote:
“I realize the danger of creating a Web Site aimed towards attorneys based on the Honor System, but I have faith in humanity. Further, I am a recent law school graduate earning a government salary with a significant amount of student debt who paid for this site out of my own pocket. Play fair.”
Apparently, people don’t play fair. Beyond the cheating on the predictions, I am also fairly certain that many people took advantage of the free registration for students and unemployed attorneys. It is probably not a good idea to use a law firm e-mail address when signing up for one of these gratis accounts.
With respect to the offending members, I confronted them, and they admitted their wrongs. After hearing their story, I banished them from the realms of FantasySCOTUS. No, I won’t out them, so don’t ask.
Why would people cheat on a Fantasy Supreme Court league? What excuses did the cheaters provide? Is my faith in humanity rocked? And, is this as bad as stealing Oreos from a hotel minibar?
More thoughts on the ethics of cheating on fantasy leagues, at JoshBlackman.com.
Quick Note for readers in Washington, D.C.. I will be giving a talk on McDonald v. Chicago, the upcoming Second Amendment incorporation case, at the George Mason Law School on March 1 at 12:00 p.m., and providing post-argument wrap up of McDonald at Georgetown University Law Center on March 2 at 3:30 p.m.. Details here.