The Supreme Court set the stage Monday for what could be an important ruling on government sting operations, agreeing to review the case of a Nebraska farmer convicted of receiving "kid porn" through the mail.

The court said it will decide whether Keith Jacobson unlawfully was entrapped by Postal Service investigators.Lawyers for Jacobson, 57, said his rights were violated because he was targeted by the undercover investigation even though government agents had no reason to believe he had committed, or was likely to commit, a crime.

Jacobson, who lives near Newman Grove, Neb., was convicted of receiving in 1987 a copy of a magazine called "Boys Who Love Boys," described in a catalog as "11-year-old and 14-year-old boys get it on in every way possible."

In other action Monday, the Supreme Court:

- Agreed to consider putting new limits on the ability of state and local governments to protect electricity consumers from paying for nuclear power plants.

The court said it will review a ruling that barred a Louisiana public utility company from recovering $135 million it spent on a nuclear generating facility.

- Let stand rulings that force Connecticut officials to negotiate with the Mashantucket Pequot Indian Tribe over the tribe's desire to operate a gambling casino on its reservation.

- Left intact a $175,000 libel award a county prosecutor won against a Covington, Ky., newspaper in 1985.

The justices, without comment, rejected arguments that the award "leaves the future vitality of speech about Kentucky's government and its officers in jeopardy."

Louis Ball, prosecuting attorney for Campbell County, Ky., sued The Kentucky Post over articlescalling his official performance into question.