Monday’s ruling on how the Hatch Act applies in the Monroe County auditor’s race has raised questions about the law’s relevance in the modern political world. Indiana University Law Professor Luis Fuentes-Rohwer says the law was written for another time and place, intending to root out corruption in the 1930s. Now, the statute is mostly invoked by losing political candidates looking for another chance.
“The spirit of the act is not being furthered these days by those today who seek its assistance,” Fuentes-Rohwer said. “I wouldn’t call it laughable, but I would call it, it’s not really what the Hatch Act is intended to do. I don’t think there’s any question about that.”
Fuentes-Rohwer says questions about the Hatch Act are cropping up around the country, suggesting Congress should take a second look at the law.
“The Hatch Act ought to be clarified surely,” he said. “It’s being misapplied. Congress ought to at least clarify its intentions to make sure it isn’t applied to any given case.”
Unless the ruling is overturned on appeal, Amy Gerstman will be the Democratic candidate, facing Republican Vivien Bridges in November.