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If you're arguing before the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals (or just stopping by on your federal circuit tour of the United States), you're going to end up at the Lewis F. Powell Jr. courthouse in downtown Richmond, Virginia.

You might only be there for a day or two, but that doesn't mean you can't avail yourself of the things Richmond has to offer.

2014 at the 4th Cir.: The 10 Most Popular Blog Posts

In 2013, the theme in the Fourth Circuit was guns: concealed carry, criminal penalties for carrying, etc.

This year? It's all about Virginia: a corrupt governor, malicious prosecution, and penile photography by police officers and prosecutors.

For 2014, here are your Top 10 most popular posts from the Fourth Circuit, folks:

Pamela Harris Confirmed; Republican Senator Exasperated

It was barely a few months' time before a nominee was put forward to fill Senior Judge Andre Davis' seat. At the time, we were shocked; considering the number of vacancies nationwide, some of which were many years old, a vacancy being filled this quickly was basically a modern miracle.

Pamela Harris was the nominee. And only a few months later, she is now confirmed. Welcome to the Fourth Circuit, Judge Harris!

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4th Circuit Says Nah, D.C. Circuit. ACA Subsidies For All!

Seriously, when was the last time you saw a circuit split happen in a matter of hours? The law nerd inside of me is quivering right now, I tell you!

The D.C. Circuit read a statute, § 36B, which provides tax credits (subsidies, in essence) to qualifying low-income individuals who purchase plans though an "Exchange established by the State." To them, that text is pretty clear -- state exchanges are eligible for subsidies, while the federal Heathcare.gov exchange is not. It came to the decision "reluctantly," of course, as it notes that if its holding stands, Obamacare will collapse absent legislative intervention. We have more on the D.C. Circuit opinion, and the end of the world as we know it, in our D.C. Circuit coverage.

But wait, there's more: the Fourth Circuit (and a dissenting D.C. Circuit judge) came to a contrary conclusion. How?

Rule Change; Cert. Sought for NC Plates, Denied in Family Dollar

Happy Wednesday. We're still waiting on Bostic.

But that's not all that's happening in the Fourth Circuit. There's been a rule change regarding the number of briefs one must file with the court. (Oooh!) And the North Carolina "Choose Life" license plate dispute is headed to the Supreme Court -- they hope. (Aaahhh!) But Family Dollar, the losers in a class action certification dispute, won't be, after the Supreme Court quietly denied certiorari before heading on summer vacation. (Gasp!)

Read on for the roundup ...

That Was Quick: Pamela Harris Nominated for 4th Cir. Vacancy

Judge Andre Davis took senior status barely two months ago, yet there's already a nominee for his seat, the only vacancy in the Fourth Circuit. Compare that expediency with the nine years it took to fill the seat last time.

Who's the nominee? Meet Georgetown Law visiting professor and former O'Melveny & Myers appellate attorney Pamela Harris. Her nomination for the Maryland-assigned seat was announced late Thursday by the White House and drew immediate praise from local politicians.

Others may not be quite so happy.

Two 4th Circuit Judges Heard Cases Despite Conflicts

Conflicts and recusals. We've given the High Court's justices a hard time over botched recusals, excessive recusals, and even for un-recusals, but what about judges in the lower courts?

Federal judges are required to recuse themselves if they have a conflict of interest, often due to stock ownership in a company that is a party to the case, and they're even granted a tax break if they sell the stock to remove the conflict. Courts have adopted conflict screening systems to make sure mandated recusals actually happen.

Yet sometimes, a case or a stock slips through the cracks. How? And just as important, how many?

Need a Job? 4th Circuit is Hiring Librarians, Chief Staff Attorney

Hiring freeze? Budget crunch?

Hah! It seems that budget deal that ended the shutdown, and alleviated the effects of sequestration on the courts, has freed up some funds for a few staff positions at the Fourth Circuit. The Court of Appeals is looking for two librarians familiar with digital and electronic resources, and for an experienced attorney to lead the Office of Staff Counsel.

Sound intriguing? Read on for the official job descriptions, and click the links for the full vacancy announcements, including duties and required qualifications:

Adios Judge Andre Davis; 2009 Obama Appointee Takes Senior Status

As predicted late last year, Judge Andre Davis, after only a few years on the Fourth Circuit, took senior status as of February 28, 2014. He was eligible for the semi-retired status due to his prior service on the district court bench for nearly two decades.

His move to senior status opens up an extra seat on the bench, which due to tradition, must be filled with a Maryland appointee. Meanwhile, as a senior judge, he'll still hear cases. Think of this arrangement in baseball terms -- he's a pinch hitter when the docket is full. (For more on the Rule of 80 and what senior status really means, see our post from last year.)

4th Circuit's Site Had a Java Problem; Fake Court Email Virus Spreads

Get any emails about last-minute court hearings in unfamiliar cases? They're fake (almost certainly), and the attachments carry a pair of nasty viruses.

Plus, an update to Java, the annoying app that loves to bug you with update reminders, broke the Fourth Circuit's website on Wednesday.