December 01, 2020 | 95 Wash. L. Rev. 1621
A substantial portion of constitutional law rests on untested factual predictions made by the Supreme Court. Such forecasts have played a large role in a wide range of case outcomes, helping the Court decide questions such as whether corporations have the right to spend money on elections and what evidence may be used in criminal cases despite Fourth Amendment violations.
Scholars have not yet studied the frequency of such predictions, the problems they create, or the functions they serve. The literature has looked more closely at court decisions that depend on conclusions of legislative fact—facts not specific to a certain plaintiff or defendant but concerning the world more gene…