• Last updated on November 11, 2022

The Supreme Court held that Congress had the power to impose duties on officers of the executive branch of the government.

President Andrew JacksonJackson, Andrew asserted an extreme position of executive independence, leading to several conflicts with Congress. A constitutional conflict occurred when Postmaster General Amos Kendall refused to honor government contracts with a mail transport company, Stockton and Stokes, because Kendall believed the contract was tainted by political favoritism. Congress passed a law authorizing the solicitor general in the treasury department to settle the issue. The solicitor decided in favor of the company, and William Stokes went to a federal court for a writ of mandamus ordering Kendall to pay his company. Kendall refused to obey, arguing that he was accountable only to the president. The Supreme Court unanimously disagreed and ruled that officials of the executive branch must act in accordance with the laws passed by Congress. Also, the Court explicitly recognized that federal courts could issue writs of mandamus against cabinet members in such cases. The Kendall decision upheld the limits of executive prerogatives within a system of separation of powers.Separation of powers;Kendall v. United States ex rel. Stokes[Kendall v. United States ex rel. Stokes]

Judicial powers

Presidential powers

Separation of powers

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