12 Pet. (37 U.S.) 524 (1838), argued 13, 19–24, 26–27 Feb. 1838, decided 12 Mar. 1838 by vote of 9 to 0; Thompson for the Court. The case originated when newly appointed postmaster general Amos Kendall refused to obey an order from the federal circuit for the District of Columbia that he honor a contract negotiated by his predecessor with the firm of Stockton and Stokes. Kendall, appointed by President Andrew Jackson to reform the Post Office, refused on the grounds that the contract was tainted with political favoritism, which it probably was. The matter was referred to Congress, which enacted a law requiring Kendall to follow the recommendations of the solicitor general of the treasury, Virgil Maxcy (who was a friend of the plaintiffs). Kendall refused again, arguing that the act of Congress was an unconstitutional infringement on the powers of the executive branch. This was the issue before the Supreme Court.
A unanimous decision, written by Justice Smith Thompson, went against Kendall holding that
R. Kent Newmyer