Beneficial National Bank v. Anderson, 539 U.S. 1, 14 (2003)

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14

BENEFICIAL NAT. BANK v. ANDERSON

Scalia, J., dissenting

law claims relating to labor relations necessarily arise under 301. If one reads Lincoln Mills with any care, it is clear beyond doubt that the relevant passage merely confirms that when, in deciding cases arising under 301, courts employ legal rules that overlap with, or are even explicitly borrowed from, state law, such rules are nevertheless rules of federal law. It is in this sense that "[a]ny state law applied [in a 301 case] will be absorbed as federal law"—in the sense that federally adopted state rules become federal rules, not in the sense that a state-law claim becomes a federal claim.

Other than its entirely misguided reliance on Lincoln Mills, the opinion in Avco failed to clarify the analytic basis for its unprecedented act of jurisdictional alchemy. The Court neglected to explain why state-law claims that are pre-empted by 301 of the LMRA are exempt from the strictures of the well-pleaded-complaint rule, nor did it explain how such a state-law claim can plausibly be said to "arise under" federal law. Our subsequent opinion in Franchise Tax Board struggled to prop up Avco's puzzling holding:

"The necessary ground of decision [in Avco] was that the pre-emptive force of 301 is so powerful as to displace entirely any state cause of action 'for violation of contracts between an employer and a labor organization.' Any such suit is purely a creature of federal law, notwithstanding the fact that state law would provide a cause of action in the absence of 301. Avco stands for the proposition that if a federal cause of action completely pre-empts a state cause of action any complaint that comes within the scope of the federal cause of action necessarily 'arises under' federal law." 463 U. S., at 23-24 (footnote omitted).

This passage has repeatedly been relied upon by the Court as an explanation for its decision in Avco. See, e. g., ante, at 7, Caterpillar, supra, at 394; Metropolitan Life Ins. Co. v. Taylor, 481 U. S. 58, 64 (1987). Of course it is not an expla-

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