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Myers v. United States

MYERS V. UNITED STATES

MYERS V. UNITED STATES. In 1920 President Woodrow Wilson removed Frank S. Myers, the Portland, Oregon, postmaster, without first obtaining the consent of the Senate. Myers sued in the Court of Claims, challenging the president's right to remove him. He lost, and on appeal the Supreme Court held, in Myers v. United States (272 U.S. 52 [1926]) that officers named by the president were subject to removal at his pleasure. In an opinion written by Chief Justice William Howard Taft, the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional the law that had been passed in 1876 limiting removal of postmasters.

Although presidential authority to appoint carries with it the right to remove, exceptions have been made by the Court after Myers with respect to members of several independent regulatory and administrative agencies, such as the Federal Trade Commission and the War Claims Commission. These exceptions apply if the Congress has decreed in the statute creating the office that removal is subject only to specific cause made explicit by the statute and if the official involved exercises adjudicatory function. The cases of Humphrey's Executor v. United States (1935) and Wiener v. United States (1958) distinguished between officials like Myers, who exercised only ministerial and administrative authority, and those like W. E. Humphrey, a member of the Federal Trade Commission, and Wiener, a member of the War Claims Commission, who functioned in a quasi-judicial capacity.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Corwin, Edward S. The President: Office and Powers. New York: New York University Press, 1984.

Fisher, Louis. Constitutional Conflicts between Congress and the President. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1997.

PaulDolan/a. r.

See alsoCivil Service ; Congress, United States ; Postal Service, U.S. ; President, U.S. ; Removal, Executive Power of .

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