In the PolitiFact article Can Donald Trump fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller?, law professor Ric Simmons is quoted:
The Supreme Court has stated (outside the special counsel context) that only the government official who appointed an employee has the power to fire that employee.
To what extent is this statement, supposedly by the US Supreme Court, true?
I would like to learn more about this, but I was not able to find any relevant cases or other material. Non-examples include
- Myers v. United States (Congress cannot require Senate advice and consent for POTUS to remove appointees)
- Humphrey's Executor v. United States (POTUS can only remove quasi-legislative appointees for cause)
- Free Enterprise Fund v. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (statute held that PCAOB's board members could be removed only for cause by SEC members; SCOTUS changed to at will)