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First Amendment Library:
Ralph F. Fuchs


The Hatch Act,[*] enacted in 1940, declares unlawful certain specified political activities of federal employees.[1] Section 9 forbids officers and employees in the executive branch of the Federal Government, with exceptions, from taking "any active part in political management or in political campaigns."[2] Section 15 declares that the activities *79 theretofore determined by the United States Civil Service Commission to be prohibited to employees in the classified civil service of the United States by the Civil Service Rules shall be deemed to be prohibited to federal employees covered by the Hatch Act.[3] These sections of the Act cover all federal officers and employees whether in the classified civil service or not and a penalty of dismissal from employment is imposed for violation. There is no designation of a single governmental agency for its enforcement.