Betting on politics: the US Supreme Court

Joan Larsen © Getty images
Joan Larsen: a compromise?

The best new betting opportunity lies across the Atlantic, where Anthony Kennedy’s retirement from the US Supreme Court has given Donald Trump the opportunity to appoint another judge. The shortlist seems to have narrowed down to six main candidates: Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett, Amul Thapar, Joan Larsen, Raymond Kethledge and Thomas Hardiman.

Ladbrokes is running a market on the next confirmed justice (ie, they must be confirmed not just nominated). The frontrunners are Barrett at 2/1 (33.3%) and Kavanaugh at 3/1 (25%), with Kethledge and Hardiman at 6/1 each (14.3%), Thapar at 10/1 (9.1%) and Joan Larsen at 12/1 (7.7%).

As usual, there are some more tongue-in-cheek options, such as Trump’s longtime political ally Rudy Giuliani at 66/1 (1.5%) and even Trump’s daughter Ivanka at 200/1 (0.5%) – needless to say these can be ignored.

The Republicans’ slender Senate majority and the upcoming elections mean that Trump has to take political factors into consideration. Barrett’s strident views may be too controversial, while Larsen could command broader support. Thapar has the strong support of senate majority leader Mitch McConnell and would be the first Asian justice. Beyond the shortlist, the Allison Eid is an interesting long shot at 25/1. So I’d suggest that you bet on Thapar, Larsen and Eid for combined odds of 20.6%. In this case I’d put £4.41 of a £10 betting unit on Thapar, £3.73 on Larsen and £1.86 on Eid.