January 28, 2020
For more than a year, a federal ethics agency has instructed federal employees to steer clear of taking a stand at work for or against the impeachment of President Donald Trump, saying that doing so could run afoul of the Hatch Act that bars them from participating in certain political activities. 
Federal Workers Say Theyve Been Gagged From Speaking Out On Trumps Impeachment
With Trump now impeached and the subject of a Senate trial, a union representing federal employees says that the controversial legal guidance from the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) tramples on workers’ First Amendment rights.
As part of a lawsuit that began last year, the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) filed an emergency motion in federal court last Friday asking a judge to block the guidance with an injunction. The union argues that the OSC, an independent agency now headed by a Trump appointee, has misread the Hatch Act in a way that’s created a “chilling effect” among federal employees. 
Impeachment is “all that’s in the news,” Ward Morrow, AFGE’s assistant general counsel, told HuffPost. “If you’re going to enforce [the OSC] advisory in the conditions we have now, they’ll be investigating employees for the next 100 years. It’s all anybody is talking about, especially in Washington.”
AFGE has been waging its legal fight with an assist from American Oversight, a non-profit watchdog group founded by former Obama staffers that have been hounding the Trump administration over conflicts of interest. 
Generally speaking, the Hatch Act, which dates to 1939, forbids most federal workers from engaging in electoral politics while on the clock or in their official capacity. While employees can make political donations or sign up new voters on their own time, they can’t urge their underlings to donate to someone’s reelection bid or pass out a candidate’s literature during the morning meeting. 
The restrictions tend to boil down to advancing a candidate or party, and that’s where AFGE said the OSC misses the mark. The guidance, first reported by The Washington Post in 2018, argues that impeachment amounts to electoral politics because it can result in a president being barred from holding federal office ― i.e., that impeachment amounts to a scuttled reelection bid. If you’re going to enforce [the OSC] advisory in the conditions we have now, they’ll be investigating employees for the next hundred years.Ward Morrow, AFGEBut impeachment is a legislative process playing out in Congress, with the House sending charges ― in this case, that Trump abused his office and obstructed a congressional inquiry ― to the Senate for a trial.
Morrow said that, for the purposes of the Hatch Act, supporting or opposing impeachment is no different from supporting or opposing a spending bill being debated on the Senate floor. He added that someone’s views about witnesses being called in the Senate impeachment trial ― a key issue the chamber has yet to decide ― may have nothing to do with partisan politics.
The legal guidance drew enough heat immediately after it was released in November 2018 that the OSC quickly tried to clarify it, as Federal News Network reported at the time. But AFGE said the followup guidance only created confusion. 
The clarification stated that it didn’t intend “to prevent all discussions of impeachment in the federal workplace.” For instance, it would be acceptable to “discuss whether reported conduct by the president warrants impeachment,” but it would not be acceptable to “advocate” for impeachment. One example of off-limits behavior would be displaying an ”#Impeach45″ poster at work. 
AFGE said the line between proper and improper speech is unclear enough to muzzle workers entirely on the impeachment issue, for fear of prompting a Hatch Act investigation. Two workers at the National Archives and Records Administration filed declarations as part of the lawsuit: One in Maryland who wants to express views on impeachment, and another in Missouri who wants to be able to use the term “resistance.” 
The OSC’s legal guidance states that using the terms “resist” and “resistance” in relation to Trump could be a violation of the Hatch Act, since the words are “inextricably linked with the electoral success (or failure) of the president.” AFGE argues that those terms are not necessarily political, unlike a formal campaign slogan such as “Make America Great Again.” 
AFGE and American Oversight filed a lawsuit over the legal guidance last August, but they are now asking for an injunction because of timeliness concerns.
As Morrow put it, “If they decide a year from now that it would be okay to talk about impeachment, you can’t go back in time” to when the president was the subject of the current trial.Related... Can Tory MPs - Or Donald Trump - Trust A Word Boris Johnson Says On Huawei? 6 Wild Things Said In The Secret Recording Of Trump's Dinner Republican Senators Handed Fidget Spinners ‘To Focus’ During Donald Trump Impeachment Trial
Related Stories
Latest News
Top news around the world
Coronavirus Disease

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.

Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.

Around the World

Celebrity News

> Latest News in Media

Watch It
Brody Jenner, Kaitlynn Carter open up about working together after split | Page Six Celebrity News
May 07, 2021
SoF-7BataFw
Jessica Simpson divides fans with no-makeup Instagram photo | Page Six Celebrity News
May 07, 2021
HwqgnxhJejM
TikTok user who matched with Matthew Perry on Raya at age 19 speaks out | Page Six Celebrity News
May 06, 2021
8hEPvd2mCJ4
Ellen DeGeneres Will End Talk Show After 19 Seasons | Daily Pop | E! News
May 12, 2021
fl8PaCxyL-M
Porsha Engagement, Leo Unrecognizable? & Seth Talks Tom - "Nightly Pop" 05/11/21 | E! News
May 11, 2021
36i6CHqVzC0
Stripper Love, Who Crossed the Line? & Prostitute Problems - "Nightly Pop" 05/11/21 | E! News
May 11, 2021
jrUTOEEOM60
‘Dracula’s Castle’ Offers Tourists Covid Shots | TMZ TV
May 12, 2021
0x-SWFsRJwU
NJ Gov. Phil Murphy Says Vaccine Shot and Free Beer Program's Working | TMZ
May 11, 2021
CKH38Y7USsg
Kylie & Travis' Triple Date with Biebers, Kendall & Devin | TMZ TV
May 11, 2021
4sPkwvKFcHQ
'The Bachelor' Star Colton Underwood Addresses His Controversial Coming Out
May 12, 2021
kVERop3CQZo
Ashe Gets Personal in Debut Album 'Ashlyn,' Featuring Collab With Finneas
May 10, 2021
JddMS_MG6O4
ViacomCBS Stock Falls Despite Q1 Earnings and Paramount Plus Streaming Growth
May 06, 2021
YMV6KD0sfHg
TV Schedule
Late Night Show
Watch the latest shows of U.S. top comedians

Sports

Latest sport results, news, videos, interviews and comments
Latest Events
19
Nov
ASIAN CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group H
Sydney FC - Shanghai SIPG
17
Nov
UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE A: Group Stage
Spain - Germany
14
Nov
UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE A: Group Stage
Germany - Ukraine
08
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester City - Liverpool
08
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Arsenal - Aston Villa
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Valencia - Real Madrid
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
AC Milan - Verona
08
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
West Bromwich Albion - Tottenham Hotspur
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Bologna - Napoli
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Genoa - Roma
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Atalanta - Inter Milan
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Lazio - Juventus
08
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Bayer Leverkusen - Borussia Monchengladbach
08
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Leicester City - Wolves
08
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Wolfsburg - Hoffenheim
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Valladolid - Athletic Bilbao
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Levante - Alaves
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Sociedad - Granada CF
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Torino - Crotone
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Getafe - Villarreal
07
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Borussia Dortmund - Bayern Munich
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Everton - Manchester United
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Chelsea - Sheffield United
07
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Atletico Madrid - Cadiz
07
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Barcelona - Real Betis
07
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Augsburg - Hertha Berlin
07
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Stuttgart - Eintracht Frankfurt
07
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
RB Leipzig - SC Freiburg
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Rotherham - Preston NE
07
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Parma - Fiorentina
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Watford - Coventry
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Norwich City - Swansea City
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Blackburn - QPR
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Derby County - Barnsley
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Huddersfield - Luton
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Nottingham Forest - Wycombe Wanderers
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
West Ham United - Fulham
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Sheffield Wednesday - Millwall
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Brentford - Middlesbrough
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Birmingham - Bournemouth
07
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Sevilla - Osasuna
07
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Benevento - Spezia
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Crystal Palace - Leeds
04
Nov
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group stage, Group G
Ferencvaros - Juventus
04
Nov
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group stage, Group G
Barcelona - Dynamo K.
03
Nov
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group stage, Group A
Salzburg - Bayern Munich
03
Nov
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group stage, Group D
Atalanta - Liverpool
Find us on Instagram
at @feedimo to stay up to date with the latest.
Featured Video You Might Like
zWJ3MxW_HWA L1eLanNeZKg i1XRgbyUtOo -g9Qziqbif8 0vmRhiLHE2U JFCZUoa6MYE UfN5PCF5EUo 2PV55f3-UAg W3y9zuI_F64 -7qCxIccihU pQ9gcOoH9R8 g5MRDEXRk4k
Copyright © 2020 Feedimo. All Rights Reserved.