Why do public administrators need to have a comprehensive understanding of the American Constitution and the rule of law? Reference attached file: Public Administrative Theory and the Separation of ... Powers [Show More]


By tungawakanisa 3 weeks ago

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According to Rosenbloom (2016), virtually everyone in the mainstream of public administration concurs that a civilized society should be based on laws and not of the whims of those who govern. The rule of law is the bedrock principle of governance in public administration. The field of public administration still exhibits “anti-legal temper” with the rise of discretionary judgment to public servants who can take advantage of the systems for personal interest and corrupt intent in the provision of services to the general public. Besides the acceptably narrowing range of values in public administration, a lack of understanding of the American Constitution undermines the ability of the public administration to contribute to the rational design of the arrangement of governance and principles of separation of powers at a time when constitutional institutions are under serious challenge. Therefore, to fulfill the true role of public administration, administrators must operate within the confines of the rule of law and constitutionalism as an institution that serves its legitimacy. Public administrators play an important role in making rules (legislation), implementing those rules (the executive), and interpreting rules as well as adjudicating questions. This is the fundamental basis of the principle of separation of powers. Therefore, an understanding of the rule of law and Constitution conveys the kind of idea of the government not under man but of the rule of law to address the moral dimensions of public power (Newbold, 2016). Understanding the rule of law and constitutionalism in public administration constrains abuse of official power, protects the right to legal certainty in regards to interference with civil liberties by the executive branch of administration, and guarantees access to justice for the common man. Moreover, public administrators who understand the rule of law and constitutionalism apply procedural fairness over a range of administrative decisions in service to the public. The managerial approach to administration promotes organization along the lines of ideal type bureaucracy by Max Weber. The specialization for efficiency is lost in public administration if the rule of law and constitutionalism is not applied to the latter (Rosenbloom, 2016). Overlaps such as judicial overreach, executive influence, and judicial power discretion are minimized if our public administration officials have an understanding of applicable laws and the Constitution. Moreover, the ideal political approach to public administration is based on the values of political responsiveness, accountability of public officials, and the values of representation. In a mainstream constitutional democracy like the United States, public administrators to whom power is entrusted must act within the confines of the law to ensure equal protection of rights and liberties and ensure the provision of essential services without procedural technicalities and bureaucracy. For instance, the expansion of constitutional rights when viewed against public administration has been enforced to enhance the relevance of the rule of law in public administration (Newbold, 2016). The judiciary is empowered to hold people to account to protect constitutional rights by reducing absolute immunity. If public administrators understand the rule of law, there is fundamental fairness in the administration of functions and justice embodied by the interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment and the Bill of Rights. Public administrators are policymakers and supplementary lawmakers in a sense. Therefore, understanding of the rule of law and the Constitution puts added emphasis on accountability, equity, equality, non-discrimination in opportunities, adversary procedure, and individual rights of citizens. There is greater attention that is paid to public administrators whose actions are constrained by internal considerations of political pressures, administrative technicalities as well as checks and balances. Rational application of the law to its latter and spirit is a managerial and political approach to public administration that ensures that public service is viewed as what it is; public service and not serving the interests of a few privileged individuals or private

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