Beneficial National Bank v. Anderson, 539 U.S. 1, 15 (2003)

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Cite as: 539 U. S. 1 (2003)

Scalia, J., dissenting

nation at all. It provides nothing more than an account of what Avco accomplishes, rather than a justification (unless ipse dixit is to count as justification) for the radical departure from the well-pleaded-complaint rule, which demands rejection of the defense of federal pre-emption as a basis for federal jurisdiction. Gully, supra, at 116. Neither the excerpt quoted above, nor any other fragment of the decision in Franchise Tax Board, explains how or why the nonviability (due to pre-emption) of the state-law contract claim in Avco magically transformed that claim into one "arising under" federal law.

Metropolitan Life Ins. Co. v. Taylor, supra, was our second departure from the prohibition against resting federal "arising under" jurisdiction upon the existence of a federal defense. In that case, Taylor sued his former employer and its insurer, alleging breach of contract and seeking, inter alia, reinstatement of certain disability benefits and insurance coverages. Id., at 61. Though Taylor invoked no federal law in his complaint, we treated his case as one arising under 502 of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), 29 U. S. C. 1132, and upheld the District Court's exercise of removal jurisdiction. 481 U. S., at 66-67.

In reaching this conclusion, the Taylor Court broke no new analytic ground; its opinion follows the exception established in Avco and described in Franchise Tax Board, but says nothing to commend that exception to logic or reason. Instead, Taylor simply relies on the "clos[e] parallels," 481 U. S., at 65, between the language of the pre-emptive provision in ERISA and the language of the LMRA provision deemed in Avco to be so dramatically pre-emptive as to summon forth a federal claim where none had been asserted. "No more specific reference to the Avco rule can be expected," we said, than what was found in 502(a); and we accordingly concluded that "Congress has clearly manifested an intent to make causes of action within the scope of the civil enforcement provisions of 502(a) removable to federal


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