Skip to main content

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.


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 .

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Myers v. United States." Dictionary of American History. . 19 Jan. 2019 <>.

"Myers v. United States." Dictionary of American History. . (January 19, 2019).

"Myers v. United States." Dictionary of American History. . Retrieved January 19, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.