WIENER v. UNITED STATES
By the War Claims Act of 1948, Congress established the War Claims Commission for the purpose of adjudicating claims for compensating internees, prisoners of war, and religious organizations. Wiener was confirmed as a member of the Commission by President Truman in 1950. In 1953, when President Eisenhower requested Wiener's resignation, Wiener refused. Eisenhower subsequently appointed a substitute to Wiener's post. The Commission was abolished in 1954, and Wiener brought a claim to recover his salary from the time of his removal to the last day of the Commission's existence.
Did President Eisenhower have the authority to terminate Wiener's membership on the Commission?
Legal provision: Article 2, Section 2, Paragraph 2: Appointments Clause
In a unanimous opinion, the Court held that the President did not have the authority to remove individuals from the War Claims Commission at will. The Court found that Congress had intended to create a body that was "'entirely free from the control or coercive influence, direct or indirect,' of either the Executive or the Congress." The "intrinsic judicial character" of the Commission's duties required that it be able to adjudicate claims solely on the merits of each claim free of external Executive pressure." Congress did not wish to have hand over the Commission the Damocles' sword of removal by the President for no reason other than that he preferred to have on that Commission men of his own choosing."