Thursday, November 29, 2018

Hatch Act Rules & Enforcement

An interesting piece in the New York Times discusses how the Office of Special Counsel has instructed government workers that merely expressing anti-administration views at work could constitute a violation of the Hatch Act.  From the article:

“in a guidance document distributed on Wednesday, the independent agency that enforces the Hatch Act, a law that bars federal employees from taking part in partisan political campaigns at work or in an official capacity, warned that making or displaying statements at work about impeaching or resisting [the president] is likely to amount to illegal political activity.”

This interpretation of the statute seems to go much further than previous views, and it will be interesting to watch if any government employees are ultimately sanctioned as a result of the policy (and whether this interpretation of the statute will be challenged).  It will definitely be an interesting issue to continue to follow.

- Joe Seiner

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