Arlington v. Lillard

In Arlington v. Lillard, 116 Tex. 446, 294 S.W. 829 (1927), the Texas Supreme Court held that the City of Arlington, a home rule municipality, could not prohibit the use of certain streets by buses and other vehicles for hire. Those streets, although within the city limits of Arlington, were part of the state highway system. The court held that Arlington did not have the power to interfere with the use of the state highway beyond the city limits by prohibiting use of those streets, and that the effect of the ordinance purporting to do so was extraterritorial. Id. at 451-52. The court quoted an early constitutional commentator: The powers conferred upon municipalities must be construed with reference to the object of their creation, namely, as agencies of the State in local government. The State can create them for no other purpose, and it can confer powers of government to no other end, without at once coming in conflict with. . . maxims designed to confine all the agencies of government to the exercise of their proper functions. And wherever the municipality shall attempt to exercise powers not within the proper province of local self-government, whether the right to do so be claimed under express legislative grant or by implication from the charter, the act must be considered as altogether ultra vires, and therefore void. Id. at 451, quoting Thomas M. Cooley, A Treatise on the Constitutional Limitations Which Rest Upon the Legislative Power of the States of the American Union 309 (7th ed.).