In 1867, the Congress passed the Tenure in Office Act, under which no civil officers appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate could be removed from office unless the Senate confirmed a successor. If the Senate was in recess, the President was permitted to suspend an executive officer so long as he reported the reasons for the suspension to the Senate within twenty days of its return to session. If the Senate failed to concur in the suspension, the Act provided that the officer would be restored to his position. The Act further provided that its violation would be deemed a “high misdemeanor.”
President Andrew Johnson was famously impeached for violating the Tenure in Office Act when he removed the Secretary of War in violation of the Act.
In Myers v. United States, 272 U.S. 52 (1926), the United States Supreme Court held that the Tenure in Office Act was unconstitutional to the extent it prevented the President from removing executive officers.