Can the President Fire the SEC Chair?

Let’s keep this a strictly factual question. John McCain today said that if he were president he would fire SEC chairman Christopher Cox.

Now, I thought that the President could appoint an SEC chair (confirmed by the Senate), but that a President couldn’t fire him/her like he could, say, fire a cabinet official because the SEC is an independent agency outside of the executive branch. Perhaps though I misunderstand the SEC position…any help?

Not much help:

Wiki said the same thing, just about verbatim.

Neither explicitly state what the removal process is for someone who’s clock hasn’t run out yet.

My WAG: If the President can appoint you, he can unappoint you as well, except for those positions where it is explicitly stated that the appointment is for life, like USSC Justices. I would assume that he would need the consent of Congress, too.

If the President wants to make a scapegoat of someone, it’s possible that Congress would go along with it more often than not.

I don’t know the answer to the OP, but I wanted to point out that this applies to all federal judges, not just Supreme Court ones.

The relevant Codes don’t say anything about removal either:

No, the president can not fire the SEC chair.

So I guess the hope was that he could embarrass him into resigning.

Thanks! Looks like my WAG was wrong. Apologies, everyone.

I notice today that John McCain (from remarks delivered in Green Bay, WI) stated he would “ask the SEC chairman to resign”, a phrase he used at least twice.

Here’s one analysis of the legal issues, from the Volokh Conspiracy.