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Humphrey's Executor v. United States

(1935)

Supreme Court of the United States - 295 U.S. 602

tl;dr:

The President can only remove the Federal Trade Commissioner for inefficiency, neglect of duty, or malfeasance in office under the Federal Trade Commission Act.

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Facts & HoldingHumphrey's Executor v. United States case brief facts & holding

Facts:The Federal Trade Commission Act (FTCA) provides that a commissioner...

Holding:Holding (Sutherland): In Myers v. United States, the Supreme Court...

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Majority opinion, author: Mr. Justice Sutherland
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The case concerns the President's power to remove a Federal Trade Commissioner and whether it is limited to specific causes as stated in the Federal Trade Commission Act. The Supreme Court held that the President's power to remove a general appraiser of merchandise is not limited to specific causes mentioned in the statute. The court rejected the maxim expressio unius est exclusio alterius and emphasized that Congress must use language that puts its intention beyond doubt. The statute fixes a term of office, and the words of the act are definite and unambiguous. The first commissioners appointed are to continue in office for specific terms, and their successors are to be appointed for a term of seven years, subject to removal by the President for inefficiency, neglect of duty, or malfeasance in office. The court believes that Congress did not intend to secure the first commissioners against removal except for the specified causes and deny the same security to their successors.

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