Last year, Cato adjunct scholar (and George Mason law professor) Ilya Somin and I engaged in the inaugural “Battle of the Ilyas.” Tired of being confused for one another – how many D.C. libertarian legal scholars named Ilya S. can there be? – we accepted Josh Blackman’s invitation to compete in a trivia contest whose prize was the exclusive use of the Ilya name. I won, but my one-year reign expired last week, so it was time for a rematch.
There were two components to this year’s competition, a written quiz based on Judge Danny Boggs’s famed clerkship applicant quiz – worth 75% – and an oral speed round – worth 25%. (Boggs is a friend of Cato, having given a B. Kenneth Simon Memorial Lecture and contributed to our Supreme Court Review.) Somin and I completed the written portion right before Thanksgiving and held the oral part during a conference call with Josh last night. To listen to how it all went down, including the announcement of the overall winner, read and listen here. And if you’re dying to know without going through all that, see below.
I beat Somin 15-10 in the oral round (3 questions correct to 2), which, when added to my 58-53 lead after the written round, gave me a decisive 73-63 victory. As I said in the podcast, “it’s good to be king [of the Ilyas].”