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The Tohono O'odham Nation did not violate a gaming compact between it and the state of Arizona when it planned to build a casino in Glendale, the Ninth Circuit ruled yesterday. Arizona and two other tribes claimed that the tribe's casino plans were in violation of a 2002 gaming compact between the tribe and the state, which allowed gaming on native land but barred casinos on lands taking into trust after 1988. But, that bar did not extend to lands acquired as part of a settlement of a land claim, the court ruled, allowing the casino to go forward.

The ruling is the 19th federal court decision in favor of the project, The Arizona Republic reports. But despite the tribes' winning streak, continued litigation is expected.

Wild bighorn sheep used to number in the millions, grazing along the steep cliffs of rocky mountains. But today, there are less than 70,000 left, their numbers having dwindled as a result of habitat loss, hunting, and disease spread from domestic sheep.

In order to prevent further decline to bighorn sheep populations in Idaho, the U.S. Forest Service closed about 70 percent domestic sheep grazing allotments in the Payette National Forest in Idaho. That closure was perfectly legal, the Ninth Circuit ruled on Wednesday, in response to a suit from Idaho wool growers.

The Ninth Circuit may soon be getting a new judge and it is likely to be Northern District of California Judge Lucy Koh, the San Jose Mercury News reports. Judge Koh, who we once dubbed the "most powerful woman in Silicon Valley," is best known for presiding over the Apple v. Samsung trial, where she won over our hearts by slapping down Apple's request for additional witnesses by asking its attorney if he was smoking crack. (He wasn't.)

Now she may get to dish out the smack from an even higher bench. Here's what you should know about Koh.

The Ninth Circuit has decline to reconsider, either in panel or en banc, environmentalists' challenge to Shell's arctic drilling plans. When government regulators approved Shell's spill response plan -- the plan meant to keep a drilling accident from becoming the next Exxon Valdez or Gulf oil spill -- they did so without formal environmental review under the Endangered Species Act or National Environmental Policy Act.

That led environmental groups to sue, a suit they lost in June and which the Ninth has now refused to rehear. That refusal, however, garnered a strong dissent from three circuit judges who argued that the court had undermined the strength of the environmental laws and created an incentive for agencies to abandon their role as overseers.

If you signed into Facebook a few years ago, you were likely to see one of the social network's "Sponsored Stories," which repurposed user's names and images -- including children's likenesses -- for advertisements. "Sponsored Stories" led to a class action lawsuit against Facebook and a $20 million settlement.

Public interest groups sued, saying the settlement did little to nothing to protect consumer and children's rights. Indeed, they argue that the terms of the settlement are against California law. But even if it might, the Ninth Circuit ruled on Wednesday, that's not reason enough to reject the settlement.

Ed O'Bannon and other college athletes won't get an en banc rehearing in the Ninth Circuit, the court announced today. O'Bannon, the once-upon-a-time star of the UCLA basketball team, sued the NCAA for antitrust violations after he discovered the association was licensing his image for video games, while preventing college athletes from making a dime off such deals.

The Ninth Circuit gave the NCAA a partial win in September. Yes, the NCAA is subject to antitrust laws, the court found. But no, the NCAA cannot simply set aside $5,000 in trust for athletes, payable on graduation. And no, the court announced today, it's not willing to reconsider.

Last week, the Ninth Circuit heard oral arguments in Facebook v. Power Ventures. There's a $3M judgement at stake, but that's nothing compared to the impact the case could have on the reach of an anti-hacking law, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

That law, once intended to punish hackers who broke into computer systems, has been read by some circuits to prohibit all sorts of unauthorized access, from looking at protected company files to access someone's Facebook information.

It's about time the EPA made a final rule on the potentially toxic pesticide, chlorpyrifos, the Ninth Circuit ruled yesterday. Chlorpyrifos is a widely used pesticide that, in addition to protecting almond, orange, and cotton crops from pests, is connected to the poisoning of farm workers and rural residents, as well as neurological impairments in children.

The Pesticide Action Network North America and National Resources Defense Council first petitioned the EPA to ban chlorpyrifos in 2007, but the agency has been slow to respond. The EPA issued a proposed rule banning the pesticide in October, which the Ninth Circuit has ruled must be finalized by the end of 2016.

It's not just Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia who are likely to die on the bench. Though those Supreme Court Justices are over 80, they've both steadfastly refused to consider retirement. They've got company. Many federal judges plan on hanging on to that gavel right to the end.

Since federal judges are appointed for life and must be impeached by Congress to be removed, their careers can last well into their twilight years. And while many remain sharp throughout that period, there are also concerns that an aging judiciary will lead to senile judges staying on the bench too long. In response, the Ninth Circuit has adopted a sophisticated senility awareness program to help judges recognize when it might be time to take a break from the bench.

Reno's SouthEast Connector was first proposed in the 1950s. Since then, it's remained controversial -- and unbuilt. The six-lane highway expansion between Reno and neighboring Sparks, Nevada, would follow along the local Steamboat Creek, potentially relieving traffic congestion, possibly spreading old mercury pollution, and unquestionably resulting in local wetland fill.

Now, more than six decades after its proposal and halfway into its construction, a local environmental coalition is going before the Ninth Circuit in a last ditch attempt to stop the road expansion.