The Law and the Practice of Municipal Home Rule (Classic Reprint)by Howard Lee McBain
Broadly construed the term "municipal home rule" has reference to any power of self-government that may be conferred upon a city, whether the grant of such power be referable to statute or constitution. In American usage, however, the term has become associated with those powers that are vested in cities
Excerpt from The Law and the Practice of Municipal Home Rule
Broadly construed the term "municipal home rule" has reference to any power of self-government that may be conferred upon a city, whether the grant of such power be referable to statute or constitution. In American usage, however, the term has become associated with those powers that are vested in cities by constitutional provisions, and more especially provisions that extend to cities the authority to frame and adopt their own charters. Powers thus conferred by the people of a state through the medium of their fundamental law create for the city constitutional rights which may, like the similar rights of private persons, be defended in the courts against invasion by the legislative arm of the government. Such rights it would seem are appropriately designated rights of home rule. This is certainly the sense in which the term "home rule" is descriptively employed by our courts in an ever increasing number of cases, although in point of fact the term has never been given legal definition and can scarcely be regarded as a term of our law at all. It is in this restricted sense, therefore, which is likewise in fair harmony with the popular conception of what it imports, that the term "home rule" has been used to describe the general subject-matter of this volume.
There are now twelve states in which certain or all cities enjoy the power to frame and adopt their own charters. Wherever in any state this right has been enjoyed and exercised for a considerable length of time it has given rise to numerous difficult questions. These have of necessity been presented to the courts for solution. The cases upon this subject already constitute a distinct and important branch of our state constitutional law.
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