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Court Addresses Arbitrability and a "Delegation" Provision

Rent-A-Center West, Inc. v. Jackson, No. 09-497, involved an employment discrimination action.  The Court reversed the Ninth Circuit's reversal of the district court's dismissal of the action based on the parties' agreement, holding that, under the Federal Arbitration Act, where an agreement to arbitrate includes an agreement that the arbitrator will determine the enforceability of the agreement, if a party challenges specifically the enforceability of that particular agreement, the district court considers the challenge, but if a party challenges the enforceability of the agreement as a whole, the challenge is for the arbitrator.

As the Court wrote:  "We consider whether, under the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA or Act), 9 U. S. C. §§1-16, a district court may decide a claim that an arbitration agreement is unconscionable, where the agreement explicitly assigns that decision to the arbitrator."

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