The issue this thesis shall examine is how American Administrative Law conforms to superior law: Constitutional Law. This constitutes of two components. Where the rules administrators are to conform with are derived and what does abiding by this laws entail with the discretion of administrators being maintained.
The American constitution constitutes of a hierarchical perspective of the structure of law; with the constitution being the supreme law, followed by the congress statutes then international treaties. (Article VI). The administration must thus adhere to this bloc de la legality in formulation of any such laws within their area of jurisdiction. The foregoing instruments detect the general principles of law. Virtually all the general principles promulgated in these instruments relate to the protection of citizens’ rights against harm, by the administrators. This principle constitutes of that of equality; non-retroactivity et-cetera. At the bottom of the hierarchy constitute of regulatory rules which establish that regulation made by an organ considered to be supreme over another organ shall constitute of general principles that one binding to the subordinate organ.
The Constitutionality of Administrative Laws
What then are the constitutional rules that impact on administrative laws?
The constitution constitute of rules that concern the protection of fundamental rights of citizens under the bill of rights against the administrators. Equality as mentioned constitute of the foundation in administration. In San Antonio independent School District V. Rodriguez (411 V.S. 1 (1973)) members of the Edgewood Parent Association brought a suit on behalf of their children against San Antonio ISD and others who introduced financial regulations that according to applicants violated the equal protection clause provided for in the fourteenth amendment. The applicant ground was to the effect that education created in poor or less wealthy schools was discriminating in nature. Rodriguez on the other hand presented evidence to the effect that school; districts contributed a much higher amount per child as compared to Edgewood. The court of Appeal in this case held that a school financing system based on local property taxes was in no way unconstitutional and/or in violation of the fourteenth amendment provisions and was therefore not discriminatory in nature.
Subsequently the courts applied different ruling with regard to the constitutionality of administrative laws. In Romer V. Evans (517 V.S. 620 (1996) Colorado voters introduced a second amendment to the constitution which was to the effect that no legislation of Colorado or any administrative agency shall enact and enforce any regulation that entitles homosexuals to exercise minority status or protected status in instances of claim of discrimination. These laws if effected would prevent any law that banned discrimination against homosexuals thus nullifying gay rights. The Supreme Court gave a ruling against the amendment as it was law that did not protect the homosexual citizens from discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation.
A similar position was held in the case of Craig V. Boren (429 V.S. 190 (1976)) where the court of appeal held that statutory or administrative laws that were inclined to sex classification standards of judicial review so as to further equal protection enshrined in the constitution. In the case of Frontien V. Richardson (411 V.S. 677(1937). The court held that the equal protection clause under the fourteenth amendment provides that “no state shall deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the law” which furthers the provision that all men are created equal. Thus it was held that benefits given by the United States military to men upon showing that their women were dependants and could not likewise be afforded to women who showed that men were dependence was discriminatory in nature as it afforded differential treatment based on gender. This is tandem with the decision in the case of Regents of the University of California V. Bakke (438 V.S. 265 (1978) which bared quota systems in college admissions which constituted of numerical requirements for admitting members of particular group and gender but affirmed the constitutionality of affirmative action programs so as to initiate equal access to minorities.
The forgoing views as examined in the foregoing cases shows the shift in interpretation of administrative laws which should be in consistent with the provisions of fundamental bills of rights
Seerden F, A (et al0 (2003) Administrative law of the European Union, Its Member States and the United States: A comparative analysis, Intersentia NU. London
San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez 411 U.S. 1, 93 S.Ct. 1278 (1973)
Romer v. Evans 517 U.S. 620, 116 S.Ct. 1620 (1996)
Frontier v. Richardson 411 U.S. 677, 93 S.Ct. 1764 (1973)Craig v. Boren 429 U.S. 190, 97 S.Ct. 451 (1976)