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Myers v.

United States
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Citation. 272 U.S. 52, 47 S. Ct. 21,71 L. Ed. 160, 1926 U.S.
Brief Fact Summary. Appointee to the postmaster of the first class in Oregon was forced to resign.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. The Constitution grants to the President the executive power of the government- i.e.,
the general administrative control of those executing the laws, including the power of appointment and removal
of executive officers-a conclusion confirmed by his obligation to take care that the laws be faithfully executed;
that article 2 excludes the exercise of legislative power by Congress to provide for appointments and removals,
except only as granted therein to Congress in the matter of inferior offices; that Congress is only given power
to provide for appointments and removals of inferior officers after it has vested, and on condition that it does
vest, their appointment in other authority than the President with the Senates consent; that the provisions of
the second section of article 2, which blend action by the legislative branch, or by part of it, in the work of the
executive, are limitations to be strictly construed, and not to be extended by implication; that the Presidents
power of removal is further established as an incident to his specifically enumerated function of appointment by
and with the advice of the Senate, but that such incident does not by implication extend to removals the
Senates power of checking appointments.

Facts. Under an 1876 rule, the President had to get the Senates permission to remove the postmaster of
Portland, Oregon. That individual had been appointed with the Senates advice and consent. The President
asked for the individuals resignation without consulting the Senate first, and the Senate refused the President
permission to do so.
Issue. [W]hether under the Constitution the President has 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.
Held. Yes. The Supreme Court of the United States (the Supreme Court) produced a long-winded opinion,
examining the legislative and adjudicative history of executive appointments, including Marbury v. Madison. It
concluded that Tenure of Office Act of 1867, in so far as it attempted to prevent the President from removing
executive officers who had been appointed by him by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, was
invalid, and that subsequent legislation of the same effect was equally so. Dissent. Justice McReynolds found
that it is impossible for me to accept the view that the President may dismiss, as caprice may suggest, any
inferior officer whom he has appointed with consent of the Senate, notwithstanding a positive inhibition by
Congress after his own lengthy review of precedent. Justice Brandeis felt that the central issue was May the
President, having acted under the statute in so far as it creates the office and authorizes the appointment,
ignore, while the Senate is in session, the provision which prescribes the condition under which a removal may
take place? Justice Holmes emphasized the fact that the office was created by Congress.

Discussion. To hold [an opposite rule] would make it impossible for the President, in case of political or other
difference with the Senate or Congress, to take care that the laws be faithfully executed.