Dead Horse Beating: Preemption is a Serious Issue

I know I keep coming back to this, but today’s conservative and reactionary politics have a specific spatial form. Whether it’s because cities house populations conservatives dislike, or because the problems of urban life tend to confound the political-economic prescriptions of privatism, austerity, environmental free-fire zones, and neofeudal labor relations, state legislatures have been aggressively targeting the ability of municipalities to pass laws, reversing more than a century’s practice of urban home rule.

North Carolina’s the latest example (via Kriston Capps at Citylab), where the legislature temporarily inserted provisions into a bill addressing the licensing of counselors to constrain municipal government actions around particular issues, notable among them fair housing and the minimum wage. This gambit wasn’t sneaky enough to avoid intense opposition, and the final bill was stripped of the stealth attack on home rule and local democracy, which, for now anyway, are safe in the Tar Heel State.

2 comments on “Dead Horse Beating: Preemption is a Serious Issue

  1. […] more significant in coming years as states like Michigan (emergency management) and North Carolina (state pre-emption of local civil rights ordinances) allow state voters to override the will of […]

  2. […] I’ve studied and written about this issue in some depth, I would point out that this is one of the best popular accounts of the […]

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