Wingard v. United States
This appeal brings up for review a judgment by the court of claims sustaining a demurrer to a petition filed by the appellant, in which he claimed as due him from the United States for salary as associate justice of the supreme court of the territory of Wawshington the sum of $1,964.55 from December 11, 1885, to August 5, 1886, inclusive, and $1,543.03, from August 24, 1886, to February 27, 1887, inclusive; in all, $3,507.58.
The petition shows that on the 27th day of February, 1883, appellant was duly appointed, by and with the advice and consent of the senate, and commissioned to be, associate justice of the supreme court of the territory of Washington, for the term of four years from that date, and until his successor should be appointed and qualified, with all the powers, privileges, and emoluments appertaining to that office; that he took the oath of office May 11, 1883, and entered upon, executed, and fulfilled the duties of such office; that he was at all times, from and after May 11, 1883, until February 27, 1887, ready and willing to perform those duties; that on the 3d of December, 1885, President Cleveland transmitted to him a communication which declared that he was thereby 'suspended from the office of associate justice of the supreme court of the territory of Washington, in accordance with the terms of section 1768, Revised Statutes of the United States, and subject to all provisions of law applicable thereto;' that on the day last named, the president issued to William G. Langford a document reciting the suspension of the appellant from his office in 'virtue of the authority conferred upon the president by section 1768 of the Revised Statutes of the United States,' and the designation of said Langford 'to perform the duties of such suspended officer in the mean time, he being a suitable person therefor, subject to all the provisions of law applicable thereto;' that, on the 11th day of August, 1886, the president sent to the appellant and to Langford, respectively, communications similar to those of December 3, 1885, the one to appellant being a second order of suspension by the president under section 1768 of the Revised Statutes, and the one to Langford showing his designation to perform the duties of the office in the mean time, that Langford was commissioned January 29, 1887, as associate justice of the supreme court of the territory of Washington, for the term of four years from that date, and until his successor was appointed and qualified, subject to the conditions prescribed by law, the commission showing that he had been nominated and appointed to that position by and with the consent of the senate; and that Langford performed the duties of the office from December 11, 1885, to August 5, 1886, and from August 24, 1886, to February 27, 1887, under and by virtue of said several written appointments issued to him.
Roger S. Green and Chas. H. Armes, for appellant.
Sol. Gen. Taft, for the United States.
Mr. Justice HARLAN, after stating the facts in the foregoing language, delivered the opinion of the court.