The Authority Problem
DOI link for The Authority Problem
The Authority Problem book
Judges, at various times and places, have claimed there is an inherent right of local self-government but the dominant legal view has been that cities, counties and other local units are the “legal creatures” of their states. Consistent with this, courts have commonly applied John F. Dillon’s Rule of strict construction, named after the nineteenth-century Iowa jurist Dillon, to limit the power of local governments. State mandates come in the form of statutes, executive orders, or administrative regulations and often create unfunded costs for local governments by requiring new localities adopt new programs or meet higher performance standards. Individual states impose many more mandates on their local governments than does the federal government – though some of the most expensive mandates are federal mandates that states have passed on to localities. The quest for home rule has been a never-ending one in the states. Sometimes, the battle seems to be paying off.