Hatch Political Activity Act

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Acts of the 76th United States Congress
by United States Congress
Session 1, Chapter 410:
Hatch Political Activity Act
53 Stat. 1147, S. 1871, enacted August 2, 1939.   (Public Law 76-252)  Also refered to as the ``Hatch Act´´ or the ``Hatch Act of 1939´´.
Note: This is the original legislation as it was initially enacted. Like many laws, this statute may have since been amended once or many times, and the text contained herein may no longer be legally current.
76TH UNITED STATES CONGRESS
1ST SESSION

An Act

To prevent pernicious political activities.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
That it shall be unlawful for any person to intimidate, threaten, or coerce, or to attempt to intimidate, threaten, or coerce, any other person for the purpose of interfering with the right of such other person to vote or to vote as he may choose, or of causing such other person to vote for, or not to vote for, any candidate for the office of President, Vice President, Presidential elector, Member of the Senate, or Member of the House of Representatives at any election held solely or in part for the purpose of selecting a President, a Vice President, a Presidential elector, or any Member of the Senate or any Member of the House of Representatives, Delegates or Commissioners from the Territories and insular possessions.

Sec. 2.[edit]

It shall be unlawful for any person employed in any administrative position by the United States, or by any department, independent agency, or other agency of the United States (including any corporation controlled by the United States or any agency thereof, and any corporation all of the capital stock of which is owned by the United States or any agency thereof), to use his official authority for the purpose of interfering with, or affecting the election or the nomination of any candidate for the office of President, Vice President, Presidential elector, Member of the Senate, or Member of the House of Representatives, Delegates or Commissioners from the Territories and insular possessions.

Sec. 3.[edit]

It shall be unlawful for any person, directly or indirectly, to promise any employment, position, work, compensation, or other benefit, provided for or made possible in whole or in part by any Act of Congress, to any person as consideration, favor, or reward for any political activity or for the support of or opposition to any candidate or any political party in any election.

Sec. 4.[edit]

Except as may be required by the provisions of subsection (b), section 9 of this Act, it shall be unlawful for any person to deprive, attempt to deprive, or treaten[1] to deprive, by any means, any person of any employment, position, work, compensation, or other benefit provided for or made possible by any Act of Congress appropriating funds for work relief or relief purposes, on account of race, creed, color, or any political activity, support of, or opposition to any candidate or any political party in any election.

Sec. 5.[edit]

It shall be unlawful for any person to solicit or receive or be in any manner concerned in soliciting or receiving any assessment, subscription, or contribution for any political purpose whatever from any person known by him to be entitled to or receiving compensation, employment, or other benefit provided for or made possible by any Act of Congress appropriating funds for work relief or relief purposes.

Sec. 6.[edit]

It shall be unlawful for any person for political purposes to furnish or to disclose, or to aid or assist in furnishing or disclosing, any list or names of persons receiving compensation, employment, or benefits provided for or made possible by any Act of Congress appropriating, or authorizing the appropriation of, funds for work relief or relief purposes, to a political candidate, committee, campaign manager, or to any person for delivery to a political candidate, committee, or campaign manager, and it shall be unlawful for any person to receive any such list or names for political purposes.

Sec. 7.[edit]

No part of any appropriation made by any Act, heretofore or hereafter enacted, making appropriations for work relief, relief, or otherwise to increase employment by providing loans and grants for public-works projects, shall be. used for the purpose of, and no authority conferred by any such Act upon any person shall be exercised or administered for the purpose of, interfering with, restraining, or coercing any individual in the exercise of his right to vote at any election.

Sec. 8.[edit]

Any person who violates any of the foregoing provisions of this Act upon conviction thereof shall be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both.

Sec. 9.[edit]

(a) It shall be unlawful for any person employed in the executive branch of the Federal Government, or any agency or department thereof, to use his official authority or influence for the purpose of interfering with an election or affecting the result thereof. No officer or employee in the executive branch of the Federal Government, or any agency or department thereof, shall take any active part in political management or in political campaigns. All such persons shall retain the right to vote as they may choose and to express their opinions on all political subjects. For the purposes of this section the term “officer” or “employee” shall not be construed to include
(1) the President and Vice President of the United States;
(2) persons whose compensation is paid from the appropriation for the office of the President;
(3) heads and assistant heads of executive departments;
(4) officers who are appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, and who determine policies to be pursued by the United States in its relations with foreign powers or in the Nation-wide administration of Federal laws.
(b) Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be immediately removed from the position or office held by him, and thereafter no part of the funds appropriated by any Act of Congress for such position or office shall be used to pay the compensation of such person.

Sec. 9A.[edit]

(1) It shall be unlawful for any person employed in any capacity by any agency of the Federal Government, whose compensation, or any part thereof, is paid from funds authorized or appropriated by any Act of Congress, to have membership in any political party or organization which advocates the overthrow of our constitutional form of government in the United States.
(2) Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be immediately removed from the position or office held by him, and thereafter no part of the funds appropriated by any Act of Congress for such position or office shall be used to pay the compensation of such person.

Sec. 10.[edit]

All provisions of this Act shall be in addition to, not in substitution for, of existing law.

Sec. 11.[edit]

If any provision of this Act, or the application of such provision to any person or circumstance, is held invalid, the remainder of the Act, and the application of such provision to other persons or circumstances, shall not be affected thereby.


Approved August 2, 1939.


Notes[edit]

  1. So in original, probably should be “threaten”.

Legislative History[edit]

  • S. 1871