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Humphrey's Executor v. United States

Significance, Separation Of Powers Requires That The President's Removal Power Be Limited, Further Readings


Samuel F. Rathbun, as Executor of the Estate of William E. Humphrey, deceased


United States

Appellant's Claim

That the president cannot remove an appointed commissioner without just cause.

Chief Lawyer for Appellant

William J. Donovan

Chief Lawyers for Appellee

Attorney General Homer S. Cummings, Solicitor General Stanley F. Reed

Justices for the Court

Louis D. Brandeis, Pierce Butler, Benjamin N. Cardozo, Charles Evans Hughes, James Clark McReynolds, Owen Josephus Roberts, Harlan Fiske Stone, George Sutherland (writing for the Court), Willis Van Devanter

Justices Dissenting



Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

27 May 1935


The Court ruled that the president did not have the power to remove an appointed official without consent from Congress.

Related Cases

  • Myers v. United States, 272 U.S. 52 (1926).
  • A.L.A. Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States, 295 U.S. 495 (1935).
  • United States v. Curtiss-Wright Export Corp., 299 U.S. 304 (1936).
  • Wiener v. United States, 357 U.S. 349 (1958).

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1918 to 1940