In the case of Wiener v. United States (357 U.S. 349 (1958)), it was recognized that Congress has the power to create independent agencies; government entities that are free from the Presidential removal power established in Myers v. United States(272 U.S. 52 (1926)).

  • Wiener was a commissioner of an independent agency (War Claims Commission), and had been fired by President Eisenhower.
  • Other exampled of independent agencies include the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission.
  • These agencies don’t just enforce laws (which would make them exclusively Executive Branch agencies). They also have quasi-legislative and/or quasi-judicial functions.
  • The President has the power to appoint people to these offices, but not the power to fire them without the consent of Congress.
  • Since these agencies are not completely Executive Branch in nature, they don’t fall exclusively under the President’s purview like Myers did in Myers v. United States.
  • The idea is that these agencies need to be able to operate free from Presidential threats, similar to how the President can’t fire a judge.
  • The concept of these independent agencies appears nowhere in the Constitution.
  • See Buckley v. Valeo (424 U.S. 1 (1976)) which ruled that an exclusively Executive Branch agency (FEC) could not have officers who reported to the Legislative Branch.