Washington, D.C. – At 9:17 p.m. Friday President Trump fired Obama Administration holdover acting Attorney General Sally Yates. The announcement came in response to a letter Yates wrote to department lawyers saying, “I am not convinced that the defense of the Executive Order is consistent with these responsibilities nor am I convinced that the Executive Order is lawful.”
Yates is not alone in her interpretation of the debatable order by President Donald Trump, placing a travel ban on those entering the U.S. from 7 Muslim-dominant countries. Today a memo circulated at the State Department arguing against Section 3 of the executive order which temporarily suspends the issuance of visas for citizens from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
They say the Presidents order will only add fuel to radical fires burning within these nations younger populations. “A policy which closes its doors to over 200 million legitimate travelers in hopes of preventing a small number, who intend to harm Americans will not achieve its aim of making our country safer,” reads a draft from the departments Dissent Channel.
So in the face of mounting criticism against President Trump’s week one lightning round of Executive orders was the Attorney General justified in her blatant defiance?
According to Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz Monday nights broadcast of CNN’s “Out Front,” he mentioned the top attorney made a “serious mistake” and chose a “political decision rather than a legal one.” Dershowitz further added, “We have a hobby in this country if you don’t like something you assume it’s unconstitutional. I think – some of its constitutional, some of it’s not constitutional. For example, there is a statute that limit’s the president’s power and says that visas may not be denied on the basis of religion. Is that statute constitutional, or is it a claim on presidential authority? These are very complicated legal matters.” He continued, “I think what Yates should have done is done a nuanced analysis of what parts of the order are constitutional, what parts are in violation of the statute, what parts are perfectly lawful.”
At a moment of intense polarization in the United States, those who oppose the ban as those supporting the Presidents singular assertion to the presidency in the first place are heralding Yates’s stand against the executive order as triumphantly.
As the remnants of the former administration fade away, President Trump did not hesitate to relieve acting United States Attorney General Sally Yates of her roll at the first sign of insubordination and perhaps rightly so.
Tonight Yates was replaced with Dana Boente, the current U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, until the Senate confirms Sen. Jeff Sessions.