Myers v. United States

272 U.S. 52, 47 S. Ct. 21 (1926)

 

RULE:

In the absence of a Constitutional or statutory provision otherwise, the President can by virtue of his general power of appointment remove an officer, though appointed by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, and not-withstanding specific provisions for his removal for cause, on the ground that the power of removal inhered in the power to appoint. This is an indication that many statutes are to be reconciled to the unrestricted power of the President to remove, if he chooses to exercise his power. 

FACTS:

Appellant, the administratrix of postmaster's estate, sought review of a judgment that rejected a claim for the postmaster's salary where he was removed from office before the expiration of his term by an order of the President, without the Senate's approval, in contravention of § 6 of the Act of Congress, 19 Stat. 80 (1876). The lower court's judgment was premised on a finding that the postmaster had lost his right of action because of his delay in suing. The Supreme Court held he had not lost his right to sue where he acted conscientiously in asserting his rights. In the absence of a constitutional or statutory provision otherwise, the President could by virtue of his general power of appointment remove an officer on the ground that the power of removal inhered in the power to appoint, even though he was appointed by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, and notwithstanding specific provisions for his removal for cause. Thus, the Court held that § 6 of the Act under which the unrestricted power to remove first class postmasters was denied to the President, violated the Constitution was invalid.

ISSUE:

Under the Constitution, does the President have the exclusive power of removing executive officers of the United States whom he has appointed by and with the advice and consent of the Senate?

ANSWER:

Yes.

CONCLUSION:

The judgment denying request for postmaster's salary by appellant, admistratrix of postmaster's estate, was affirmed because the President was empowered to remove postmaster from his appointment, even though postmaster was appointed by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, and notwithstanding the specific provision for his removal for cause, on the ground that the power of removal inhered in the power to appoint.

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