Essay Example on How the Law Frames the Work of Public Administrators

Published: 2023-08-23
Essay Example on How the Law Frames the Work of Public Administrators
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Law Court system Judicial system Public administration
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1144 words
10 min read

During the 1940s and 1950s, the government made laws that regulate public administration. For example, the Federal Administrative Procedure Act of 1946 includes a judicial decision that integrates public administration with the law and the Constitution (Rosenbloom et al., 1996). Before then, most of the rules developed by federal courts were not in line with the constitutional principles. The legislation created enabled courts to play a role in the supervision of public administrators. Also, if public administrators ignore the contemporary legal dimensions, then they are considered inadequate. The law is subject to change and reversal in case there is a need.

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American public administration was formed to manage but not to govern. It was made to serve political goals but expected to follow the constitution. The student and practitioners of public administration should understand that the laws and the theories help to achieve the general purpose of the constitution before they reject them (Rosenbloom et al., 1996). Leonard White introduced the study of public administration as managerial rather than the foundation of law and observed in the America management association; hence the legislative effort is seen as micromanagement. Politics administration dichotomy protects civil service from politics while viewing it as managerial insulation and legal and judicial supervision.

Kenneth Davis, an expert on US administration law, provided a classic definition of discretion: a public administrator has options whenever adequate limits of his power leave him free to choose among possible courses of action or inaction. The description covers both legal and illegal aspects of the law (Rosenbloom et al., 1996). The advantage of public administration in rulemaking is adjudication and policy implementation. It is flexible and allows expert specialization in decision making. Expert specialization means that people who know specific laws not necessarily from the department can be integrated into the department and participate in running the daily procedure and decision-making. The benefits make the government trust that the administration can accomplish its tasks on its own. The law gives public administration the authority to decide how general policies apply to specific cases and the power to make legislative like policy decisions.

The essential work of public administration is the execution of the law. Hence, one must understand the rules and the regulations of the country to be able to take part in the whole procedure. It gives the government a tool for intervening effectively in society and the economy. According to the law, a public administration official must make decisions involving subtle and sophisticated assessments of human characteristics.

The American constitution uses classical liberal contract theory that states the purpose of the government is to protect individual liberty and preserve natural rights. It is a tool for obtaining public goods, which include common defence and general welfare. Public administration should take place in all processes that ensure the above. In Federalist No. 68, Alexander Hamilton states that a good government should have a proper administration, and one cannot separate the two (Rosenbloom et al., 1996).

The bill of Rights, specifically the due process clause protects the fragile, vulnerable citizenry from overbearing concerns for efficacy and efficiency that should be characteristics of government officials.

There are three types of statutes used to deal with administrative discretion. The first may deny administrator discretion. The second places administration discretion within limits, such as federal mandates on state and local governments, and lastly, the law may structure the use of administrative choice. The code can be tailored to apply to general agencies or their subunits. An agency has no discretion concerning the release of some information, has an option concerning the exemption of information, and must withhold some information that threatens privacy and proprietary secrets.

According to the legal changes in 1974, the court made new constitutional rights for individuals (Rosenbloom et al., 1996). The courses constructed a means of giving public administrators a direct incentive to avoid infringing upon individuals' newly articulated legal rights. Individuals were in a position to sue public administrators (Rosenbloom et al., 1996). Again public administrators must bring constitutional law and practice in their work, the judiciary shapes and supervises public administration. Administrate practice is now subordinate to three branches of the government.

Example of how an Ordinance Statute Case Law Affects My Work

Even the police department has laws that govern how things should be done. The police department is a nonmilitary organization that usually operates under the authority of the government. They deal with domestic issues and not foreign matters. The main work of the police is to preserve order in a country. They enforce criminal laws to protect people and property and reduce civil disorder. With the privileges, there need to be rules to prevent one from misusing them or using them to their advantage. For example, the Fourth Amendment states that: "the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." the law suggests that there needs to be a system that governs how a police officer can carry out an arrest or search in a house. Police officer must get a warrant before they search a suspect's house or property and inform and read them their rights before they arrest a person. If one is not treated as per the law, they then have a right to decline arrest prevent the police from searching the house, and sue the police officer.

How the Law Influences My Decision-Making Process

Decision-making in the police department is quite complicated. It includes multiple informal inputs from many sources. Laws governing the work of a police officer help us make decisions. It prevents one from being driven by emotions while making a decision. For instance, in a murder case, an informant explains that the murder weapon is in the suspect's house.

The suspect is an older man who has been accused of raping and killing a young girl. You want to search the house. You are very angry, and you feel like this suspect does not even deserve human grace. But because of the law first, you understand that a suspect is not guilty until proven guilty. Again the law also gives out procedures of searching someone's property. You will have to obtain a warrant to search the house, present it to the suspect, and go ahead to search the house. After you receive the weapon, you can arrest the suspect and allow for investigations and case proceedings. Without the law, one would make a decision that they think is right, but it might not be fair to the suspects and their families.


Rosenbloom, D. H., O'Leary, R., & Chanin, J. (1996). Public administration and law (Vol. 157). CRC Press.

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