Under the English common law the officer's right or interest in the office which he held was regarded as a property right, an incorporeal hereditament.1 Largely because of the inherent difference between the nature and incidents of the public office at common law and those of the public office in this country, this conception never gained general acceptance here.2 In a few cases,3 and particularly in the decisions of the courts of North Carolina,4 offices have been asserted to be the property of the rightful incumbent. In these decisions the officer's right has been regarded as less absolute, perhaps, than that of BLACKSTONNE'S conception, but these courts have insisted that it is none the less a property right. Nevertheless they have recognized the power of the legislature to abolish an office5 and to decrease,6 though perhaps not to abolish, 7 the compensation thereof during the term of the incumbent. They have further limited the officer's property in the office and its perquisites by recognizing his lack of power and authority to sell or assign the office or to delegate to another the performance of its duties. 8
Stoner, W. Gordon. "Legislating the Incumbent Out of Office." Mich. L. Rev. 12 (1914): 293-9.