The Hatch Act, a federal law passed in 1939, limits certain political activities of federal employees, as well as some state, D.C., and local government employees who work in connection with federally funded programs. The law’s purposes are to ensure that federal programs are administered in a nonpartisan fashion, to protect federal employees from political coercion in the workplace, and to ensure that federal employees are advanced based on merit and not based on political affiliation.
- This cartoon by Rollin Kirby appeared in 1940, a year after the original Hatch Act was passed and just before controversial amendments to the bill passed the Senate.
- Cartoon by C.K. Berryman
- Shows Hatch Act sponsor Senator Carl Hatch as the mother hen, appeared in 1939 and likely references Attorney General Murphy’s decree that all Justice Department officials resign from political party offices or quit federal service.
- The intent of the Hatch Act was to curtail the then-rampant use of federal monies for coercion and political gain. This 1940 cartoon by Herb Block likely referred to the difficulty of implementing the new law.