The Hatch Act And Political Speech By Federal Employees

Law360 (March 21, 2018, 12:26 PM EDT) -- Kellyanne Conway brought national attention to a little-appreciated federal law, the Hatch Act, which prohibits a wide range of political conduct by federal employees in the executive branch. The Hatch Act prohibits “political activity,” including using “official authority or influence for the purpose of interfering with or affecting the result of an election.”[1]

The Hatch Act covers acts taken “while the employee is on duty” or “in any room or building occupied in the discharge of official duties” or “while wearing a uniform or official insignia” or while “using any [government] vehicle.”[2] The Hatch Act is enforced by the Office of...

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