Joseph Kearney


The issues facing Illinois cities are equally, if not more, important today as in 1970 and will require local leaders to be able to use all governance tools at their disposal. The ability of a municipality to raise revenue is arguably one of the most important expressly granted by home rule. Accordingly, the Stubhub case should be viewed with caution going forward, as it raises the possibility of potentially serious challenges to municipal home rule power in the future. This article, then, will do several things. First, it will give the reader a concise definition and history of the constitutional home rule powers in Illinois. Second, it will discuss the Stubhub case in more detail. Finally, the article will reflect upon the plight of Detroit, Michigan, a home rule municipality which suffered financially after a constitutional amendment in the 1970s severely limited its ability to tax or incur debt.