Humphrey’s Executor v. United States

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Humphrey’s Executor v. United States
Court U.S. Supreme Court
Citation 295 U.S. 602 (1935)
Date decided May 27, 1935

Facts

Plaintiff was Commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission and was abruptly fired by the President. He did not look for new work, and died, but his executor filed this action for lost wages.

Issues

Whether the President has the sole power to remove a person from office for a reason other than specified by the Federal Trade Commission Act.

Holding

The dismissal on policy grounds was unjustified.

Rule

The language of the act, and purposes of the legislation combine to demonstrate the congressional intent to create a body of experts which shall be independent of executive authority. This is not in violation of separation of powers because the FTC is an administrative body created by Congress.

Myers v. United States (1926) upheld the President's right to remove officers who were "units of the executive department." Here, the FTC is different because it is a body created by Congress to perform quasi-legislative and judicial functions.

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