Quackenbush v. Allstate Ins. Co., 517 U.S. 706, 9 (1996)

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Opinion of the Court

The District Court's order remanding on grounds of Bur-ford abstention is in all relevant respects indistinguishable from the stay order we found to be appealable in Moses H. Cone. No less than an order staying a federal court action pending adjudication of the dispute in state court, it puts the litigants in this case " 'effectively out of court,' " Moses H. Cone, supra, at 11, n. 11 (quoting Idlewild Bon Voyage Liquor Corp. v. Epstein, supra, at 715, n. 2), and its effect is "precisely to surrender jurisdiction of a federal suit to a state court," 460 U. S., at 11, n. 11. Indeed, the remand order is clearly more "final" than a stay order in this sense. When a district court remands a case to a state court, the district court disassociates itself from the case entirely, retaining nothing of the matter on the federal court's docket.

The District Court's order is also indistinguishable from the stay order we considered in Moses H. Cone in that it conclusively determines an issue that is separate from the merits, namely, the question whether the federal court should decline to exercise its jurisdiction in the interest of comity and federalism. See infra, at 716-717, 727-728. In addition, the rights asserted on appeal from the District Court's abstention decision are, in our view, sufficiently important to warrant an immediate appeal. See infra, at 716, 723-728 (describing interests weighed in decision to abstain under Burford); cf. Digital, 511 U. S., at 878 (review under collateral order doctrine limited to those issues " 'too important to be denied review' ") (quoting Cohen, supra, at 546). And, like the stay order we found appealable in Moses H. Cone, the District Court's remand order in this case will not be subsumed in any other appealable order entered by the District Court.

We have previously stated that "an order remanding a removed action does not represent a final judgment reviewable by appeal." Thermtron Products, Inc. v. Hermansdorfer, 423 U. S., at 352-353. Petitioner asks that we adhere to that statement and hold that appellate review of the District

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