Viewing United States ex rel. Aaron Goodrich v. James Guthrie, Secretary of the Treasury, 58 U. S. 284 (1855).
United States ex rel. Aaron Goodrich v. James Guthrie, Secretary of the Treasury, 58 U. S. 284 (1855).
Aaron Goodrich was the first Chief Justice of the Territory of Minnesota. Nominated by President Taylor on March 19, 1849, he was confirmed by the Senate and took his oath of office at St. Croix on May 22, 1849. His term was four years. Because of complaints about his behavior, President Fillmore replaced him on October 22, 1851, by making a recess appointment of James Fuller as Territorial Chief Justice. Goodrich did not believe the President had the constitutional authority to dismiss him and so he demanded the Treasury Department pay him $2,343, which was the balance of his salary for the remainder of his term. It refused. He then petitioned the Circuit Court for the District of Columbia for a writ of mandamus to require the Secretary of the Treasury to pay his salary. It denied his request in late 1853, and he appealed to the United States Supreme Court, which affirmed the Circuit Court's ruling in 1855. The decisions of the Circuit Court and the Supreme Court are posted here.