Power of the president to fire cabinet officials:
Congress passed, over President Andrew Johnson's veto, the Tenure of Office Act. It prohibited the president from removing officials appointed with the Senate's advice and consent, unless he first obtained Senate approval. Congressional supporters of War Secretary Edwin M. Stanton intended this law to insulate him against removal, but five months later, Johnson ousted Stanton and appointed Gen. Ulysses Grant. Even though Grant later relinquished his post to Stanton, the House approved articles of impeachment against Johnson for violating the act. In 1926 the Supreme Court declared the Tenure of Office Act unconstitutional, preserving presidents' rights to dismiss all appointees except regulatory commission members and other fixed-term officeholders whose independence would be violated by removal.
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The Senate's revenge:
Grant named Ebenezer Hoar to the Supreme Court. As attorney general, Hoar had offended many senators by insisting on highly qualified judicial appointees -- a standard that left little room for political patronage considerations. Hoar's stinging criticism of several candidates still angered their senatorial patrons. The Senate rejected Hoar.
First Supreme Court nominee summoned to testify before Congress:
The Senate called Supreme Court nominee and former attorney general Harlan Fiske Stone before its Judiciary Committee to answer questions about prosecutorial misconduct in the investigation of a senator. Of 24 Supreme Court nominations between John Parker in 1930 (rejected) and Abe Fortas for chief justice in 1968 (withdrawn), 17 were confirmed unanimously and the rest with little opposition.
Interest group rules:
The Senate, under Democratic control, rejected President Harry Truman's nomination of Leland Olds to a third term on the Federal Power Commission. Olds's support for federal regulation of oil and gas riled industry. Lyndon B. Johnson, then a freshman senator from Texas, led the attack.
They liked Ike, not his nominee: