The answer is “none of that.” The cases in North Carolina no longer apply to the Dillon rule and we are not a self-governing state. Recent cases analysing the size of local authorities apply the “clear interpretation” rule, which allows the application of the “broad interpretation” legislative rule only in cases where the enabling legislation is ambiguous. However, the recent North Carolina Supreme Court case dealing with this issue gives me pause. Although the court approvingly cites the series of cases in which Dillon`s rule is rejected, it applies a rule that appears to be as strict, if not stricter, than Dillon`s rule. The majority of U.S. states apply both Dillon`s Rule and Home Rule in one way or another. It is difficult to present a simple and meaningful list of self-governing states and Dillon states because there are so many nuances in each state`s approach. “The main flaw in the county`s reasoning is that section 153A-4 is a rule of legal interpretation rather than a general guideline to give our general zoning bylaws the broadest possible interpretation. If the wording of the statute is clear and unambiguous, we must conclude that Parliament intended the law to be implemented according to the clear meaning of its wording. Slip op.
at 19. Along with other jurists, he contributed to the League`s latest report, “Principles of Home Rule for the 21st Century,” released in February. The two-year effort was “a gathering of law professors from across the country working to examine the increasingly controversial relationship between states and their local governments,” Schragger said. The professor is an advocate for self-government after years of studying how cities and states interact. He is the author of the book “City Power: Urban Governance in a Global Age,” which argues that cities have the ability to solve many pressing political problems, but are often hampered by state and federal laws. Dillon`s Rule is a legal standard sometimes used by courts when reviewing the legality of certain actions of local government. The “rule” refers to a standard of judicial interpretation – a guide for judges that suggests that municipal powers should be interpreted restrictively. It was developed by John Forest Dillon, a judge and scholar who wrote a famous treatise on local government law in 1872. Home Rule gives local governments more autonomy and limits the power of states to interfere in local affairs. Virginia, in particular, has a “highly centralized” constitution, he said.
The legislature proposed a self-government provision in the 1970s, but it was not passed. The table below shows which of the 50 U.S. states are self-governing states and which states follow the legal principle of Dillon`s Rule to determine local government.  A state in this table with “limited” autonomy may grant autonomy to certain cities and municipalities individually, but does not have a constitutional amendment guaranteeing self-government. A state that is both a self-governing state and a Dillon state applies the Dillon rule to matters or governmental entities that are not reflected in the constitutional amendment or self-government legislation. North Carolina is not a self-governing state. Here, the power of attorney is not granted by a large delegation, but by many general laws and local laws specific to a subject. (In my article Do North Carolina Local Governments Need Self-Government? I compare the structure of North Carolina to the structure of autonomous states.) The granting of powers of autonomy in a particular state eliminates the need for individual legal authority subject by subject. The local unit has general competence for matters of local interest. (For an overview of some of the challenges in determining what are the issues of local versus national concern, see my previous blog post, “Postcards from Self-Governing States.”) Home Rule describes the extent of authority that some states delegate to local governments. In our country`s system of government, each state creates local governments that derive all their authority from the state. The form of delegation of authority varies from State to State.
In an autonomous state, cities are given extensive powers over local interests. The “rule” of the house rule is therefore not a rule of interpretation. It refers to the power of local government to make its own rules. “In the early 20th century, self-government was a response to the rapidly changing economy and demographics of an industrialized country,” he said. “A rejuvenated autonomy movement in the states could be the answer to the equally dramatic economic changes that mark the beginning of the 21st century.” Even if a state does not include a provision for self-government of all municipalities in its state constitution, as Ohio does, it likely includes a provision in its state constitution or in a law that allows certain cities and/or counties to form a charter and become a self-governing municipality.