Article II, Section 2, Clause 3:
The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.
While the courts may be unable to compel the President to act or to prevent him from acting, his acts, when performed, are in proper cases subject to judicial review and disallowance. Typically, the subordinates through whom he acts may be sued, in a form of legal fiction, to enjoin the commission of acts which might lead to irreparable damage1 or to compel by writ of mandamus the performance of a duty definitely required by law.2 Such suits are usually brought in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.3 In suits under the common law, a subordinate executive officer may be held personally liable in damages for any act done in excess of authority,4 although immunity exists for anything, even malicious wrongdoing, done in the course of his duties.5
Different rules prevail when such an official is sued for a
constitutional tort for wrongs allegedly in violation of our basic charter,6 although the Court has hinted that in some
sensitive areas officials acting in the
outer perimeter of their duties may be accorded an absolute immunity from liability.7 Jurisdiction to reach such officers for acts for which they can be held responsible must be under the general
federal question jurisdictional statute, which, as recently amended, requires no jurisdictional amount.8