Administrative Discretion

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Administrative Discretion
Melissa T. Massey

Public Administration
13 December 2011

Administrative Discretion
Administrative discretion is a discretionary action is informal and, therefore, unprotected by the safeguards inherent in formal procedure. A public official, for example, has administrative discretion when he or she has the freedom to make a choice among potential courses of action. Abuse of Discretion is the failure to exercise reasonable judgment or discretion. It might provide a Cause of Action for an unconstitutional invasion of rights protected by the “due process clause” of the Constitution (West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc). So do I think that public administrators should be restricted to only laid down rules in the discharge of their duties, as espoused by Max Weber or should they have some amount of discretion? Well there are some advantages and disadvantages to this question. Many cases can prove to show that administrative discretion can be power bias if it was handled unconstitutionally and unjust. For example, the was a case study done in Chicago on “The Exercise of Administrative Discretion in Secondary School Discipline” written in 1976 by Michael Manley-Casimir. He made points on how the faculty acts as loco parentis for all attending students during school hours making one-ended decisive rules. To explain deeper in this case he study two faculty members one a Caucasian male who handled all the disciplinary actions for the “troubled males” (mixed races) and the other a African American female who handled all disciplinary actions for females (mixed races). The study showed that the punishments of troubled students were different; the males were being punished harder for the same offences that most females had committed. Moreover, regardless of the students’ race, social status, and academic level discretion did not seem to exist with the exception of the sex having a...
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