If the Supreme Court was like the BCS...
One is a shadowy coalition of aging individuals who wield tremendous power and influence over an American institution, untethered by the popular will of the people or sheer common sense. The other is the BCS. What if the Supreme Court modeled itself after the Bowl Championship Series?
Skyrocketing CNN Ratings
People will immediately start paying attention to the bedraggled news network after the Court's BCSification for the first time since, what, O.J. Simpson took a joyride? CNN will probably kick things off with two hours of live broadcasts from the National Mall for SCOTUS GameDay brought to you by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a legal entertainment show featuring highlights and predictions about the day's constitutional adjudication from a renowned cast that includes Wolf Blitzer, Anderson Cooper, Lee Corso, Richard Posner, Paul D. Clement, and
token babe with a microphone renowned journalist Erin Andrews. After SCOTUS GameDay comes to a close with Lee Corso wearing a mask of whichever justice he thinks will write the majority opinion, expect CNN to bring its viewers inside the courtroom to see the Supreme Court nine, too tempted by the promise of television revenue to maintain their no-camera policy, decide this nation's fate in prime time. Tweens' hearts will throb as the Chief Justice John "The Sledgehammer" Roberts disassembles decades of precedent, and old men will look at Justice Stephen Breyer and reminisce about the good old days, when being a liberal meant something and the best judges in the land served the highest court. Expect downsides to the television exposure as well, including seeing what Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg looks like in high definition, a page-shaving controversy regarding the length of judicial opinions, and Justice Clarence Thomas' endorsement deal with Ambien.
Unnecessary Roughness Now that America's refs have entered the big time, they better clean up their game. Look for the Court to ixnay any lingering American laws or policies that constitute cruel or unusual punishment, like the death penalty, immigration law, or the past decade of Adam Sandler movies. Not that anything will keep Scalia from taking as many smug smarmy-ass cheap shots as he can. Or Thomas from getting flagged with illegal contact...
Decline of the Ivies Just as Yale, Princeton, and the rest of the Ivy League slowly lost their competitive monopoly on college football, the Ivy League's iron-fisted control over the Supreme Court will dissipate as the field broadens to include legal powerhouses like University of Southern California, Louisiana State University, Alabama University, and Texas Christian University -- currently unranked in pre-season law school power rankings after having produced a combined 0 Supreme Court justices (can you say sleeper!?). Just as college football benefited from a diverse array of competition that infused the sport with new traditions and rivalry, it probably wouldn't hurt this country if the nine people sitting in a room making some of our nation's most important decisions did not all come from academic backgrounds like this.
Arbitrary Rulings To be fair, the BCS and the Supreme Court really aren't too far away from one another on this one. When you think about it, rulings on pass interference and maritime law are pretty damn subjective. I still wonder what would have happened in Bush v. Gore if a national champion had been crowned by using an algorithm that weighed two different polls and six computer ranking systems, but I know for a fact that Ralph Nader would definitely be the Boise State in that hypothetical situation.
Free Speech This Court loves expanding first amendment protections almost as much as Justice Alito loves whipping the other justices with a wet towel in the Supreme Locker Room after a long hard day of hearings (I presume). Excessive Celebration penalties will be the first to go, giving way to the tantalizing possibility of Justice Kagan and Justice Sotomayor performing the chicken dance every time they pull off a victory. Kennedy, meanwhile, will probably be selling off all the naming rights he can to the highest bidders, until TD Ameritrade's logo is emblazoned on all of the Justice's robes as they walk into the U.S. Cellular Courthouse.
Give the people what they want After a decade and a half of bitching, the BCS finally figured things out. Their solution isn't perfect, but it's a step in the right direction. A college playoff is the product of consensus building in order to satisfy the clearly expressed will of the people -- fans and authorities coming together with the realization that the current system is broken and needs to be overhauled. Tomorrow, I certainly wouldn't mind if the Supreme Court acted a bit more like the BCS and came together to uphold a less-than-perfect solution to the more-than-troubling health care dilemma facing this nation, a law that is the democratic product of the express will of the people. Much like a college football playoff system.