Supreme Court hears arguments on ERISA preemption of state statute

Supreme Court hears arguments on ERISA preemption of state statute

The US Supreme Court [official website] hears oral arguments [day call, PDF] Wednesday in Gobeille v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Company [transcript, PDF] to determine whether the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) [official backgrounder] preempts a Vermont statute in setting minimum standards for employee health care services. The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit [official website] reversed [text] a district court ruling, finding that ERISA did preempt the state law. Vermont’s Solicitor General argued that, “[t]he database statute does not affect ERISA plans in any way that undermines ERISA’s core objectives.” The attorney for Liberty Mutual reminded the court that “[a] signal goal of ERISA enacted in 1974 was to foster employee benefit plans that could operate nationally under nationally uniform rules of administration.”