If You Want To Avoid Being Sued…

If you want to avoid being sued—and who doesn't—Legal Issues in Public Administration develops an applied understanding of how to manage public programs and to design and implement public policy within the framework of U.S. constitutional and administrative law. Using carefully selected Supreme Court and other judicial decisions, excerpted down to the few pages necessary for students of public administration and policy, the course explains how and why standard public administrative and policy values, such as cost-effectiveness and favorable benefit-cost ratios, may conflict with legal provisions for the protection of individual rights, federalism, the separation of powers, and accountability, transparency, privacy, stakeholder participation, and fairness.

Among the main takeaways from the course is an applied knowledge of the structure of constitutional rights for freedom of speech and association, privacy, procedural due process, liberty, and equal protection of the laws in the context of public management and policy. Additionally, the course covers administrative law provisions for rulemaking, transparency, privacy, adjudication, and enforcement as well as the parameters of judicial review and involvement in public administration and policymaking.

The cases discussed in the course illustrate why public administrators and policymakers with the best intentions for promoting the public interest efficiently, effectively, and equitably sometimes neglect constitutional and administrative law requirements and how this can lead to costly and disruptive litigation and judicial intervention in their agencies' affairs. The course promotes attention to the rule of law and provides the constitutional competence required by the federal and state courts and welcomed by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. Upon completing the course, students should be sufficiently fluent in constitutional and administrative law to converse effectively with agency attorneys about a wide array of matters pertinent to their jobs.

The course design has been very successfully used at American University for over 25 years, the textbook, Administrative Law for Public Managers (Westview, 2015), was written specifically for the course and the cases covered are updated annually to ensure the content remains cutting-edge.

About the Author
Professor Rosenbloom is a major contributor to the field and a National Academy of Public Administration Fellow.  He specializes in constitutional and administrative law, administrative theory, history, reform, and personnel management. His numerous awards include the Whittington Award for excellent teaching, Gaus Award for exemplary scholarship in political science and public administration, Waldo Award for outstanding contributions to the literature and leadership of public administration, Levine Award for excellence in public administration, and Brownlow Award for his book, Building a Legislative-Centered Public Administration. His text, Public Administration: Understanding Management, Politics, and Law in the Public Sector, was ranked the fifth most influential book published in public administration from 1990-2010.

Professor Rosenbloom was cited by Supreme Court Justices as an authority on the first amendment rights of federal employees in Elrod v. Burns (1976) and Branti v. Finkl (1980).  He teaches a variety of legal courses in the School of Public Affairs’ MPA, executive MPA and online MPAP. Professor Rosenbloom holds several degrees, including a PhD from University of Chicago.

To learn more about American University’s online Master of Public Administration and Policy, request more information or call us toll free at 855-725-7614.