Public Ethics Essay

Chris Capandonis Short Essay Responses October 12, 2012 c - Public Ethics Essay introduction. High Roads and Low Roads Rohr describes the load road as an approach which emphasizes adherence to formal rules and regulations. Rohr argues that this type of approach simply places an understanding of what not to do in order to steer clear of trouble but not everyone has the same values so this is hard to measure. This approach does not assist an employee in providing a standard for what is truly ethical behavior. The High Road, according to Rohr, stresses the basis of results upon a pursuit for social equity, which is based upon political philosophy and humanistic psychology.

The low and high roads both bring up issues and this is where regime values come into play. b. Regime Values Rohr suggests that Regime Values are the most appropriate method for integrating the study of ethics into a public sector curriculum. He states regime values are not used in a journalistic sense like of the “Carter regime” or “Regan Regime,” rather it is used most appropriate as the English word to suggest what Aristotle meant by “polity. ” The regime values refer to the values of that political entity that was brought into being by the ratification of the constitution that created the present American republic.

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Regime Values are based on three considerations. The first is that ethical norms should be derived from the salient values of the regime, next that these values are normative for bureaucrats because they have taken an oath to uphold the regime and lastly that these values can be discovered in the public law of the regime. If these methods of regime values are followed by bureaucrats and organizations are educated on the values then there will not be as many ethical dilemmas to be worried about. Chris Capandonis Supreme Court Case Analysis October 12, 2012

There have been many historic court cases that have significantly influenced and helped shape American history and make our republic what it is today. The Supreme Court is the highest court in the United States and has the ultimate yet optional recognition jurisdiction over all federal courts and over state court cases involving issues of federal law, and original jurisdiction over a small range of cases. America is known as the land of opportunity and equality yet much had to be fought for to achieve this revelation. One of the most infamous supreme courts cases was Dred Scott v.

Stanford. This case occurred in March of 1857. The United States Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, declared that all blacks, slaves as well as free, were not and could never become citizens of the United States. The court also declared the 1820 Missouri Compromise unconstitutional, thus permitting slavery in all of the country’s territories. Dred Scott, a slave who had lived in the free state of Illinois and the free territory of Wisconsin before moving back to the slave state of Missouri, had appealed to the Supreme Court in hopes of being granted his freedom.

Although Scott argued that because he was a citizen in free states that he should be free, the ruling was in favor of Sanford. The finding of the Dred Scott case explained that due to the fact that slaves were not considered to be citizens of the United States, the legislation within the Constitution of the United States was not applicable, as a result, Dred Scott was forced to return to slavery. The decision sent a message that slavery and civil right needed to be addressed immediately or else our nation would begin to fall apart and public service would be in jeopardy.

The next step in the fight for civil rights was Plessy v Ferguson. Plessy, who was a black man, was arrested for violating an 1890 Louisiana statute that provided for segregated “separate but equal” railroad accommodations. Those using facilities not designated for their race were criminally liable under the statute. At trial with Justice John H. Ferguson presiding, Plessy was found guilty on the grounds that the law was a reasonable exercise of the state’s police powers based upon custom, usage, and tradition in the state.

Plessy filed a petition for writs of prohibition and certiorari in the Supreme Court of Louisiana against Ferguson, asserting that segregation stigmatized blacks and stamped them with a badge of inferiority in violation of the Thirteenth and Fourteenth amendments. The disposition was in favor of Ferguson thus sending a message that civil rights was becoming an even bigger issue in America and needed to be dealt with. However things stared to turn when this case was later overruled by Brown v. Board of Education.

Brown v. Board of Education is a consolidation of several different cases from Kansas, South Carolina, Virginia, and Delaware. Several black children sought admission to public schools that required or permitted segregation based on race. The plaintiffs alleged that segregation was unconstitutional under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. In all but one case, a three judge federal district court cited Plessy v. Ferguson in denying relief under the “separate but equal” doctrine.

On appeal to the Supreme Court, the plaintiffs contended that segregated schools were not and could not be made equal and that they were therefore deprived of equal protection of the laws. Justice Warren wrote the opinion for a unanimous court, holding that separate facilities which segregate based on race are inherently unequal. These cases above all have to do with civil rights and the treating people with equality and respect which is a major contributing factor when relating to issues of public service.

Whether you favor limited government or one that plays a more active role, the bottom line is that government should be honest, effective and efficient. But in order to achieve this, there must be a sufficient number of independent-minded watchdogs monitoring our public officials. Monitoring public officials is hard enough because nobody know what goes on behind closed doors and what public officials truly believe and plan to do. But the public’s trust is at the heart of our government’s ability to do the job people rightly expect it to do, and that is why it was so important to establish the foundation for ethics in public service.

If the issue of equality and civil rights in America was not solved then there would be a lot more corruption going on in the public sector. Because public servers would be spiteful among one another, discriminatory actions and decision making would not be like minded and ethical measures would be irrelevant and go unnoticed which is not healthy for a country or government. Public servants take an oath to take on new obligations, and they should not accept their respective positions if they do not want to live up to the higher standard paved with new obligations.

The moral concepts framed by honest services law holds public servants more accountable for their actions because they see more, know more, have more power, receive pay from the citizens, and must make ethical decisions for the sake of the people they serve. Profound commitment to the higher ethical standard assumed in honest services law, especially useful when public servants face conflicts of interest and the temptations and vagaries that position and power afford. If the court retreats from the moral position honest services law affords, the arsenal to fight public corruption will be greatly depleted.

It is important to establish a foundation of ethics for public service and without the rulings of these Supreme Court cases there would be no foundation. There is no way to determine what an individual thinks is ethically right or wrong or if they do the right thing but there are ways to monitor these actions in the public sector. By proactively educating government officials and the public about the true nature of ethics in government this will help build transparency, accountability and integrity to everyone in America.

Work Cited DRED SCOTT v. SANDFORD. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 12 October 2012. <http://www. oyez. org/cases/1851-1900/1856/1856_0/>. PLESSY v. FERGUSON. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 12 October 2012. <http://www. oyez. org/cases/1851-1900/1895/1895_210>. BROWN v. BOARD OF EDUCATION (I). The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 12 October 2012. <http://www. oyez. org/cases/1950-1959/1952/1952_1>

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