Steve Vladeck The Trump White House defense of Kellyanne Conway's Hatch Act violations is fooling no one

Dec 2015
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In Your Heart!
#1
Steve Vladeck The Trump White House defense of Kellyanne Conway's Hatch Act violations is fooling no one
There's no constitutional principle behind any of these legal arguments and excuses — only politics.
By Steve Vladeck, professor at the University of Texas School of Law


"Ms. Conway regularly participated in official media interviews in her capacity as a White House spokesperson to answer reporters’ questions about the Administration. Beginning in February 2019, Ms. Conway, during official media appearances, engaged in a pattern of partisan attacks on several Democratic Party candidates shortly after they announced their candidacy for President, including Senator Cory Booker, Senator Elizabeth Warren, former Congressman Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke, and former Vice President Joe Biden."
"Had Conway given these interviews from her own house and in her personal capacity, the Hatch Act would not have been offended; the sin is doing so on White House grounds and in her official capacity asa government employee. And although isolated Hatch Act violations are often met with warnings, OSC concluded that Conway’s violations were “egregious, notorious, and ongoing.”
"The OSC concluded its report to the president by explaining that “Ms. Conway’s violations, if left unpunished, would send a message to all federal employees that they need not abide by the Hatch Act’s restrictions. Her actions thus erode the principal foundation of our democratic system — the rule of law.” The OSC is right — and it may even be worse insofar as the White House sends the message that Hatch Act violations won’t be subject to discipline so long as they are, like Conway’s, in support of the president or opposition to his opponents. But while the White House is not formally bound to comply with OSC’s recommendation, no one should take seriously its claim that the Constitution has anything to do with whether it should."









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It will be interesting to see how Trump treats this matter and if he will do anything with regard to Conway. A good guess would be that he won't. Thus, it will send a resounding message to other Federal employees that they too can do similar things as well which would be the wrong message for them to receive.
 

the watchman

Former Staff
Jul 2011
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becoming more and more
#2
check this out. Federal Employees Are Warned Not to Discuss Trump ‘Resistance’ at Work

As far as I know, WH counsel didn't have any problem with this interpretation. So, which is it? Can federal employees ignore the Hatch Act , or not? This has got to be the most incompetent administration ever. The WH counsel, of all people, just provided a lame argument that set the WH up for massive federal employee workplace harassment claims.
 

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