Georgia Law Review, Vol. 15, No. 4 (Summer 1981), pp. 1039-1063


An earlier effort in this Review [8 Ga. L. Rev. 614 (1974)] sought to probe the general topic of local government power and its exercise in Georgia. Although perhaps not the most exciting of subjects, the exercise of power assumes pivotal practical prominence for both the local government and the citizen. It was somewhat surprising, therefore, to find few settled legal guidelines for approaching the issue and to discover that power problems frequently must be litigated in a jusicial vacuum. Although a great deal of the earlier effort remains fairly accurate, subsequent developments quickly dated the treatment of local government alcoholic beverage licensing. In that subject area, classically characterized as a "privilege," federal courts administered a vigorous infusion of constitutional rights to impiinge upon the discretion of local government. Immediately, disgruntled license applicants sought to foist that infusion to fruition in the Georgia Supreme Court, and all attention shifted to that court's reaction. The effect of this development upon the earlier effort warrants a brief update.