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TRI In The News

Gov't Silences Pro-Trump Worker, but Not for Long

A prominent conservative organization has discovered another instance of the weakening of First Amendment rights that has recently taken place in America, and its attorneys are now taking action steps to remedy the problem before certain freedoms become a thing of the past.

Mike Sienda, a United States Army veteran who serves with the National Ground Intelligence Center, drives his personal vehicle to and from work like most Americans, but he ran into a problem when he attempted to exercise his free speech rights during his commute.

Rutherford Institute Founder John Whitehead explained that Sienda’s freedom of speech was revoked when he displayed what many progressives would consider a politically incorrect choice for president.

“In September, he drove his truck in with a three-foot by five-foot sign that said ‘Trump 2016-Pence,’ and he had a bumper sticker and window sticker, and he was told by a supervisor that he was violating federal law, and he had to remove it,” Whitehead told OneNewsNow.

Sienda subsequently contacted the Rutherford Institute, where attorneys opened the law books for a quick read on the constitutional issue.

“We looked at the federal law, which is the Hatch Act – which was passed in 1939 – and it was a law that was passed to limit political activities of federal employees during their work,” Whitehead recounted. “What we found out was that not only does the Hatch Act not prohibit signs on cars on parking lots with bumper stickers, but there's actually an opinion by one of the government lawyers that bumper stickers are okay.”

The Rutherford Institute has delivered a letter to the federal agency explaining the law and asking officials to comply.

Whitehead says that this is the latest incident in a string of examples proving the erosion of Americans’ First Amendment free speech rights – rights that he considers to be the bedrock of freedom in the United States.