Scrolling through the results of the Supreme Court Forecasting
Project in July 2003, I regarded nearly every prediction as within the
realm of plausibility until I reached the statistical model's
forecast of the outcome in Lawrence v.
Texas, the gay rights case. The model predicted that
the Supreme Court would affirm by a 5–4 vote the judgment of
the Texas Court of Appeals that the state's law criminalizing gay
sex was constitutional. This was such a gaffe that it led me to
question whether all the fancy modeling was worth the effort. (Two of
the three experts correctly predicted a 6–3 reversal; the third
made the same mistake as the model.)
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