Thursday, February 25, 2010

Betting on Bush v. Gore?

From a new article in the ABA Journal, we learn one of our Supreme Court Justices had a "financial stake" in Bush v. Gore  - - a stake the Justice quickly acted to obliterate:

Dear Obie and Betty Nan:

It now appears remotely possible that the Florida election case might come to our court. I therefore feel obliged to cancel all my election bets in any way dependent on the Florida vote. I hope you will agree to let me do this.


As one of the recipients of the faxed letter explains:

"In the beginning, it was simple. We each bet $1 on one or two close races, shook hands and paid off the next time we had dinner together. But in a few years, without deliberate planning, the scope of our betting expanded. The money involved remained insignificant. The wagering terms, however, became complicated. On some Election Days we each wagered a dollar on two dozen or more individual races. To add complexity and variety to our game, we changed the terms regularly. Sometimes we simply chose a winner. More often we wagered on spread, voter percentage or by what percentage each party would win in a legislature."

More revelations by Bill Rehnquist's friend, Herman Obermayer ("Obie"), about the former Chief Justice make for an interesting read.



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