[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] granted certiorari Tuesday in four cases [order list, PDF] to be heard next term. In Hall Street v. Mattel (06-989) [docket; cert. petition, PDF] the court will resolve a circuit split on whether parties may contractually agree to vacate an arbitration award under the Federal Arbitration Act [USC Title 9 text]. In Ali v. Federal Board of Prisons (06-9130) [docket; cert. petition, PDF] the court will decide if sovereign immunity under the Federal Tort Claims Act [28 USC 2680(c) text] extends to prison workers who lost the personal property of a prisoner while he was being transferred from one prison to another.
In John R. Sand Gravel Co. v. US (06-1164) [docket; US DOJ brief opposing cert] the court granted certiorari solely to decide whether the six year statute of limitations on Tucker Act [28 USC 2501 text] claims limits the jurisdiction of the US Court of Federal Claims [official website]. Finally, in CSX v. Georgia State Bd. of Equalization (06-1287) [docket; cert. petition, PDF] the court will determine if railroad companies can challenge a state's method of valuing railroad property in federal court, using federal laws preventing state tax discrimination against railroads [49 USC 11501(b)(1) text]. SCOTUSblog has more.