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Franklin University Foundations of Government and Non-Profit Administration

Learning Outcomes

  • Apply principles of effective communication and information literacy.
  • Examine important public administration concepts and their practical relevance.
  • Apply research and analytical skills to assess administrative concepts and situations.
  • Apply principles of professionalism and ethics.
  • Examine the roles and interrelationships of organizations from the three sectors.
  • Apply management, policy, and organizational concepts and theories.
  • Explain constitutional principles and their importance for public administrators.
  • Demonstrate critical thinking by evaluating resources, investigating a situation, validating assumptions, and examining multiple perspectives.


As we have been reading, public administrators have an obligation to understand fundamental constitutional principles and to protect the rights of citizens, clients, employees, and others they interact with in their roles in government organizations or in nonprofit organizations that work with, or on behalf of, government. Therefore, it is important that you have an understanding of key legal principles, how they impact professional work, and how to keep up-to-date on important legal issues and rulings.

In this assignment, you will research an important Supreme Court case. You will need to determine the key legal principle(s) detailed in the case, including the reasoning of the Court. You will then need to research the principle(s) in the case determine their current status – that is, have there been subsequent Court rulings, laws, or other developments that public administrators should be familiar with so that they can make good decisions that are in compliance w/up the most up to date information and policy?

Action Items

  1. Complete required reading.
  2. As early in the week as possible, select one of the listed cases and respond to the Discuss topic Case Selection. State the case you selected and your first and last name.
    • Pickering v Board of Education, 1968
    • Goldberg v. Kelly, 1970 this is my case
    • Marshall v. Barlow’s, Inc., 1978
    • Branti v. Finkel et al., 1980
    • Cleveland Board of Education v. Loudermill et al., 1984
    • Pembaur v. City of Cincinnati et al., 1985
    • Goldman v. Weinberger, Secretary of Defense, et al., 1986
  1. Complete your required reading and your case research.
  2. Read the rubric.
  3. Create a 1–2 page creative yet professionally formatted document/email/webpage/blog/newsletter/social media tool/other in which you:
  • Explain the ruling in the case including the Court’s conclusion, key case facts, important legal principle(s) and/or reasoning presented by the Court, any ethical issues, and the immediate impact of the ruling on the public administrators, organizations, and key participants (e.g., the citizen or plaintiff that sued) involved in the case. Also, you must clearly identify the Constitutional or main legal basis for the ruling.
  • Discuss what the public administrators and/or organizations in the case should have done or should do today if faced with a similar situation. Also, how should this affect interactions with employees, clients, citizens, other organizations, other sectors, etc.? If possible, illustrate your ideas using a similar situation you have experienced. Think from the perspective of one who holds a leadership position in an organization.
  • Explain the current status of the key legal principle(s) and/or reasoning from your case and their relevance for public administrators working in government or private organizations that partner with government or help implement government programs. For example:
    • Discuss what public administrators should know and do today to comply with the key legal principle(s). For example, locate recent instances of professionals or organizations that ran afoul of these principles and the resulting legal, financial, political or other implications they experienced. Discuss what they should do to prevent and or respond to such situations.
    • Recommend policies, procedures, or best practices that organizations have put in place to comply with the relevant legal obligations related to the key legal principle(s). These may be principles recommended by professional associations and government bodies or used by government and nonprofit organizations. Whenever possible, refer the reader to a specific, real world example or credible source.
  • Identify resources and provide suggestions for how professionals can keep up with this issue (and other important changes in constitutional and administrative law) to maintain constitutional competence. For example, should public administrators subscribe to a particular RSS feed, subscribe to a newsletter, or attend certain ongoing training events?
  • The American Bar Association has a number of useful resources provided in its section on Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice, including the Administrative Law Review journal, Administrative and Regulatory Law News, and a periodically published book entitled Developments in Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice.
  • The Oyez Project at Chicago-Kent College of Law provides excellent resources for Supreme Court cases, including audio of oral arguments.
  • Research news databases and other sources to find recent examples related to the legal principle(s) from the case.

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