[ Thomas ]
[ Scalia ]
[ Breyer ]
DONNA RAE EGELHOFF, PETITIONER v. SAMANTHA
EGELHOFF, a minor, by and through her natural
parent KATE BREINER, and DAVID EGELHOFF
ON WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE SUPREME COURT
[March 21, 2001]
Justice Scalia, with whom Justice Ginsburg joins, concurring.
I join the opinion of the Court, since I believe that the relate to pre-emptive provision of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) is assuredly triggered by a state law that contradicts ERISA. As the Court notes, the statute at issue here directly conflicts with ERISAs requirements that plans be administered, and benefits be paid, in accordance with plan documents. Ante, at 7. I remain unsure (as I think the lower courts and everyone else will be) as to what else triggers the relate to provision, whichif it is interpreted to be anything other than a reference to our established jurisprudence concerning conflict and field pre-emptionhas no discernible content that would not pick up every ripple in the pond, producing a result that no sensible person could have intended. California Div. of Labor Standards Enforcement v. Dillingham Constr., N. A., Inc., 519 U.S. 316, 336 (1997) (Scalia, J., concurring). I persist in the view that we can bring some coherence to this area, and can give the statute both a plausible and precise content, only by interpreting the relate to clause as a reference to our ordinary pre-emption jurisprudence. See ibid.