Local Government Law
This course explores the law as it pertains to the most vital form of governance and regulation in America: local governments. Local government is the government closest to the citizen and the one whose decisions affect our lives and holdings the most. It regulates property rights (e.g., land use controls, economic development policies), it taxes, it runs the police, and it delivers other essential services, including education, transportation, and parks. In addition it is the most accessible arena for citizen participation in the political process. The course is thus concerned with the actualities and potentialities of decentralization of power. In accordance, the course focuses on issues such as federal and state control of local decision-making; the different forms of local power recognized in American law; the relationship patterns¿competition, cooperation, conflict¿between different localities (e.g., cities and suburbs, cities and special districts); the economic and social effects of the reliance on local taxation as a source of funding for local services; the privatized or neighborhood-based alternatives to city-delivered services, regulation, and governance; and the ways in which racial and economic divisions fracture American metropolitan areas. Students who have taken State and Local Government with Professors Elrod and Fillipini should not enroll in this course. The course is open to first, second, and third year law students. There are no prerequisites to taking this course. It is not necessary to have studied constitutional law or property law prior to taking this course. Required Text: Casebook: Frug, Ford and Barron, Local Government Law.
Catalog Number: CONPUB 617S