|Hunter v. City of Pittsburgh|
|Argued October 25 and 28, 1907
Decided November 18, 1907
|Full case name||D. Hunter, Jr., [et al.] v. City of Pittsburgh|
|Citations||207 U.S. 161 (more)|
|States have supreme sovereignty over their local governments.|
|Majority||Moody, joined by unanimous|
|U.S. Const. article I and amend. XIV|
Hunter v. Pittsburgh, 207 U.S. 161 (1907), is a landmark case in establishing the supreme sovereignty of a state over its municipalities.
In 1906, Pennsylvania passed a law permitting the joining of adjacent municipalities if, during an election regarding the issue, the majority of all votes passed approve the union. Subsequently, the City of Pittsburgh filed in state court to begin the process of an election regarding joining with the City of Allegheny, Pennsylvania. Allegheny pushed back but was turned down in court. The election was allowed to continue, and a majority of all voters within the two cities combined voted for joining. However, a vast majority of voters in Allegheny voted in opposition; thus, most of the votes in favor came from Pittsburgh. But because the majority of the total votes were in favor, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania ruled the union constitutional under Pennsylvania law. Plaintiffs appealed under the United States Constitution Article 1 section 10 paragraph 1 (contract clause) and Amendment 14 (due process clause).
The United States Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the Pennsylvania law violated neither Article 1 nor Amendment 14 of the United States Constitution. Some important lines from the opinion concerning the supremacy of states over the municipalities include the following: