In a June 19 editorial calling for the override of President Bush's veto of the proposed changes to the Hatch Act, you stated that the act goes too far "in restricting political activity and expression by federal employees."

However, in 1988 a federal appeals court (Blaylock v. Merit Systems Protection Board) ruled that the following 1983 public expression by a federal employee was permitted under the Hatch Act:

"Ronald Reagan ... is my Bonzo award nominee for his portrayal of a president heading an administration infamous for its double standard. ... The voting booth is our only hope and the only uncorrupt place left in the Reagan administration."

Another federal appeals court (Biller v. Merit Systems Protection Board) also ruled in 1988 that the following public expression by a federal employee to union members was permitted:

"{W}e must raise a half-million dollars as our contribution to changing the tenant in the White House ... to recapture America and save our jobs and benefits, {we} must join with other working men and women to support the Democratic nomination of Walter Mondale."

These cases make clear that the public expression of personal political opinions by federal employees is largely unrestrained. -- William Reukauf