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It's been a long time coming for Arizona's short-handed federal bench.

The local federal courts have been in a declared "state of emergency" since 2011, reports AZ Central, but the long-awaited reinforcements are on the way. Included in the slate of six are Rosemary Márquez, a defense attorney whose nomination has been pending for 1,057 days, and Diane Humetewa, a former U.S. attorney who will become the first Native American woman ever named to the federal bench, and third Native American overall.

It's been a rough battle to fill the seats, and an interesting turn of events for Humetewa, who was nominated to the bench by the same president who forced her resignation from the U.S. Attorney's Office in 2009.

Peta Lindsay was the Peace and Freedom Party's chosen candidate for President of the United States in 2012. One small problem: she was 27 years old. California, predictably, refused to put her name on the ballot due to her obvious ineligibility.

She sued, claiming First Amendment and Equal Protection violations, as well as a violation of the Twentieth Amendment. (Yeah, we had to look it up too.) In any case, this went exactly as you would expect.

The parties to the case didn't request an en banc rehearing, but at least one judge did.

Smithkline Beecham was a landmark case for gay rights in the Ninth Circuit, even though the case started as a civil suit over HIV drug pricing. A juror was stricken after mentioning his partner during voir dire, presumably on the basis of his sexual orientation.

In January, the Ninth Circuit reversed local precedent and held the heightened scrutiny applied to same-sex discrimination (and by extension, Batson protections apply). It was a huge holding that has major implications for the ongoing Nevada same-sex marriage litigation appeal. The holding may not stand, however, if en banc review leads to a reversal.

America's favorite pastime may be up for debate, but one thing is for sure: The Ninth Circuit is going to hear a case that challenges an antitrust exemption that's been on the books for almost a century.

In a case that is pitting the city of San Jose, California, against Major League Baseball ("MLB"), San Jose will not let up on its dream of luring the Oakland A's to the self-proclaimed "Capital of Silicon Valley."

Will San Jose prevail? We're not sure, but we're going to find out sooner, rather than later.

Until now, Nevada's Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto has fought vehemently to uphold the state's ban on same-sex marriage.

As recently as last week, on the same day that the Ninth Circuit held that a heightened standard of scrutiny, as well as equal protection principles, applied to gays, the state submitted a brief that reportedly placed gay marriage in the context of bigamy and incest.

By Friday afternoon, Masto's office had backed off via a press release, announcing that in light of the Smithkline opinion, many of the arguments made in the brief were now untenable.

Thanks to this week's big news in the Smithkline Beecham case, where the Ninth Circuit held that gays are protected by a heightened form of scrutiny, a full report of retired Judge Richard Cebull's misconduct, which was released on the eve of the holiday weekend, got swept under the rug.

We missed out on misconduct? Say it ain't so. Lets take a closer look, shall we?

What can one say about the Ninth Circuit? The rest of the nation, my former black-robed employer included, thinks that we're a bit looney. And the Circuit constantly contends for the "most reversed by SCOTUS" title.

Guilty as charged. But at least we have fun (and sunshine) while doing it. Here is just some of the fun that we had this year:

I have a mailbox at FindLaw. I have never used this mailbox. For the entirety of my tenure, it has been absolutely vacant.

Until yesterday.

On my way to the snack room, I noticed, for the first time, a post-marked envelope in my box. I didn't know how to feel about this letter. Excited? A bit. Snail mail is a rarity nowadays. But it had no return address. Was it hate mail? I usually get that via email.

Nope, it was none of those things. It was a letter declaring that Chief Judge Alex Kozinski is an "embarrassment to the 9th Circuit, and to the judiciary in general."

Chief Judge Alex Kozinski, of the Ninth Circuit, bench-slaps lawyers and crashes class-action settlements on a semi-regular basis. This, however, was something different, as Kozinski's wrath wasn't felt from the bench -- he was an objecting plaintiff.

Nissan makes the Leaf, an all-electric car with an alleged 100-mile range. Unfortunately, the battery packs seem to either be partially defective, or simply have a shorter range than promised. Kozinski and his wife, Marcy Tiffany, purchased a 2011 Nissan Leaf, and the range wasn't even sufficient to make the 80-mile trek home, leaving them plugged in to a charger at a dealership fifteen miles short of their destination.

Judge William Fletcher followed in the footsteps of his honorable mother once again. He delivered the James Madison Lecture at New York University School of Law, speaking out against the death penalty, nine years after his mother, the late Judge Betty Binns Fletcher spoke about the death penalty in her own Madison Lecture.

Both Judge Fletchers served on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, with the liberal Judge Betty Fletcher taking senior status as part of a 1998 deal with Republican senators, in exchange for a confirmation of her son to the bench. Despite taking senior status, she continued to have an active caseload until her passing in 2012, hearing more than 400 cases in the year before her death, reports The New York Times.