a. Pre-existing Preemption Law
According to Defendant, prior to enacting the FCA, the preexisting law clearly provided that federal law exclusively governed a telephone company's duties with respect to interstate service and that such claims were removable to federal court. In support, Defendant explains that the FCA was modeled on the Interstate Commerce Act ("ICA"), 49 U.S.C. app. § 22, which contains the same tariff-filing provisions, jurisdictional provisions, and savings clause as the FCA. Congress copied these provisions virtually "verbatim" from the ICA, occasionally "simplifying" or "clarifying" the original text "for the purpose of clarification in their application to communications, rather than as a manifestation of congressional intent to attain a different objective." S.Rep.No. 73-781, at 2, 4 (1934); see H.R. Rep. No. 73-1850, at 4-6 (1934). Defendant concludes that since the preexisting law held that the ICA completely "occupied the field" with respect to common-law claims against carriers of interstate telephone and telegraph service and because such claims were removable, Congress intended the FCA to be interpreted similarly.
Defendant cites a number of cases for the proposition that the ICA completely "occupies the field" to the exclusion of state law. See e.g., Postal Tel.-Cable Co. v. Warren-Godwin Lumber Co., 251 U.S. 27, 32, 40 S. Ct. 69, 64 L. Ed. 118 (1919) (holding that the 1910 amendments to the ICA constituted "an occupation of the field by Congress which excluded state action."); Western Union Tel. Co. V. Boegli, 251 U.S. 315, 316, 64 L. Ed. 281, 40 S. Ct. 167 (1920) (holding that the 1910 amendments to the ICA "so clearly establish the purpose of Congress to subject such companies to a uniform national rule as to cause it to be certain that there was no room thereafter for the exercise by the several States of power to regulate" in this area). These cases, however, simply stand for the proposition that Congress intended federal law to preempt state law, and not for the proposition that Congress intended to permit removal despite the exclusive reliance on state law.
b. Pre-existing Removal Law
Defendant asserts that Congress must be presumed to have been "thoroughly familiar with the unusually important precedents from [the Supreme Court] and other federal courts," Cannon v. University of Chicago, 441 U.S. 677, 699, 60 L. Ed. 2d 560, 99 S. Ct. 1946 (1979), when it enacted the FCA with the express intention of "preserving pre-existing law" under the ICA. Defendant then cites a number of cases, predating the FCA, in which state causes of action in the realm of the ICA were removed to federal court. See Southern Pac. Co. v. Stewart, 245 U.S. 359, 361-62, 62 L. Ed. 345, 38 S. Ct. 130 (1917) (removal of action for loss or injury to cattle shipped in interstate commerce), rev'd on other grounds, 248 U.S. 446, 63 L. Ed. 350, 39 S. Ct. 139 (1919), Great Northern Ry. Co. v. Galbreath Cattle Co., 271 U.S. 99, 70 L. Ed. 854, 46 S. Ct. 439 (1926) (removal of action for injury to cattle shipped in interstate commerce); see also Alabama Great S. Ry. Co. v. American Cotton Oil Co., 229 F. 11, 16 (5th Cir. 1916); Smith v. Atchison, T.&S.F. Ry. Co., 210 F. 988, 990 (D. Kan.1913); McGoon v. Northern Pac. Ry. Co., 204 F. 998, 1005 (D.N.D. 1913).
That this may be so does not, in any way, suggest that, in enacting the FCA, Congress gave a clear indication that it intended to permit claims such as this to be removed. Significantly, the demonstration made by defendant is substantially below that made in Metropolitan Life. There, the Court found that the language of the jurisdictional sections of ERISA "closely" paralleled the provisions of Section 301 of the LMRA, which the Supreme Court had previously held to be governed by the complete pre-emption doctrine. Additionally, the court noted that the legislative history of ERISA included a conference committee report which stated that suits under it:
May be brought not only in U.S. District Courts but also in State Courts of competent jurisdiction. All such actions in Federal and State courts are to be regarded as arising under the laws of the United States in similar fashion to those brought under Section 301 of the Labor-Management Relations Act of 1947 H.R. Conf. Rep. No. 93-1280, p. 327 (1974). Metropolitan Life Ins. Co. 481 U.S. at 65-66.