Conventional wisdom holds that a municipal corporation receives no protection from the equal protection and due process clauses as against its creating state. The reasoning is that municipal corporations, as mere subunits or instrumentalities of the state, are simply ineligible for such constitutional protections.
This article argues that municipal corporations, as "persons" under the Constitution, do in fact have standing to assert procedural due process claims against their creating states in cases not involving substantive matters of the state’s internal political organization. Judicial recognition of this principle would advance important values of fairness and doctrinal consistency in state-local relations, and accord an appropriate measure of deference to those constitutionally-maligned “creatures of the state,” municipal corporations.
Michael A. Lawrence, Do "Creatures of the State" Have Constitutional Rights?: Standing for Municipalities to Assert Procedural Due Process Claims Against the State, 47 Vill. L. Rev. 93 (2002).