Perspectives on Politics


Press Room Predictions

Linda  Greenhouse  a1
a1 Linda Greenhouse is the New York Times Supreme Court correspondent

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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.) a


a For her coverage of the Court, Linda Greenhouse was awarded a Pulitzer Prize in journalism in 1998. In 2002 the American Political Science Association presented her with its Carey McWilliams Award “for a major journalistic contribution to our understanding of politics.”