Rent-A-Center West, Inc v. Antonio Jackson, The Supreme Court of the United States, No. 09-497, March 31, 2010

Publish Date: 
April 1, 2010
| Filed under: 

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit correctly held below that, under the FAA, a court must decide a threshold dispute over whether an arbitration clause is enforceable or is unconscionable under applicable state contract law despite the clause’s provision for an arbitrator to decide its validity. In urging reversal, Rent-A-Center and its amici ask the Court to hold that the FAA allows the drafter of a mandatory arbitration clause to make the clause self-enforcing simply by writing in that an arbitrator, not a court, shall decide disputes over validity. This argument is contrary to the letter and purposes of the FAA. The Act provides that written agreements to arbitrate “shall be valid, irrevocable, and enforceable, save upon such grounds as exist at law or in equity for the revocation of any contract.” 9 U.S.C. § 2.