The Mission Statement of the Department of Justice says:
To enforce the law and defend the interests of the United States according to the law; to ensure public safety against threats foreign and domestic; to provide federal leadership in preventing and controlling crime; to seek just punishment for those guilty of unlawful behavior; and to ensure fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans.
To hear the media talk about Sally Yates, you would think the mission statement read:
To obstruct the administration of Donald Trump on all matters, foreign and domestic, and to destroy the rule of law…
Sally Yates had one job: enforce the law. Her oath required her to uphold the Constitution. Not only her oath as a DOJ appointee required that, but so did the oath of admission before the bar. A DOJ lawyer might personally oppose the death penalty on moral grounds, but still be required to litigate in favor of it because that is the law of the land. A DOJ Lawyer might personally find abortion an offense against God, but if directed to argue the contrary in support of Roe v. Wade (as Obama’s DOJ lawyers did) then they would be directed to do that. If you take the job at DOJ, you do the job you are required to do. You do not get to use discretion and pick and choose the laws you want to enforce. So let’s look at what the Immigration statute actually outlaws in terms of immigrants:
8 USC § 1102 provides for the exclusion of the following classes of persons from entry into this country:
(3) Security and related grounds
(A) In generalAny alien who a consular officer or the Attorney General knows, or has reasonable ground to believe, seeks to enter the United States to engage solely, principally, or incidentally in—
(i) any activity (I) to violate any law of the United States relating to espionage or sabotage or (II) to violate or evade any law prohibiting the export from the United States of goods, technology, or sensitive information,
(ii) any other unlawful activity, or
So anyone that the Attorney General knows, or has reasonable ground to believe seeks to enter the country for unlawful activity may be excluded. Sally Yates job required her to enforce this provision of law, which is inherent in Trump’s order. She refused. She dishonored her oath to both the Constitution and the Bar.
8 USC § 1102 also provides:
(i) In generalAny alien who—
(I) has engaged in a terrorist activity;
(II) a consular officer, the Attorney General, or the Secretary of Homeland Security knows, or has reasonable ground to believe, is engaged in or is likely to engage after entry in any terrorist activity (as defined in clause (iv));
(III) has, under circumstances indicating an intention to cause death or serious bodily harm, incited terrorist activity;
(IV) is a representative (as defined in clause (v)) of—
(aa) a terrorist organization (as defined in clause (vi)); or
(bb) a political, social, or other group that endorses or espouses terrorist activity;
(VIII) has received military-type training (as defined in section 2339D(c)(1) of title 18) from or on behalf of any organization that, at the time the training was received, was a terrorist organization (as defined in clause (vi)); or
(IX) is the spouse or child of an alien who is inadmissible under this subparagraph, if the activity causing the alien to be found inadmissible occurred within the last 5 years,
is inadmissible. An alien who is an officer, official, representative, or spokesman of the Palestine Liberation Organization is considered, for purposes of this chapter, to be engaged in a terrorist activity.
So Sally Yates had a legal obligation to prevent the entry of anyone affiliated with any terrorist organization, which is essentially what the Executive Order requires, vetting to ensure they are not admitted. Sally Yates violated her oaths. She deserved to be fired for this alone.
8 USC § 1102 also provides:
(f) Suspension of entry or imposition of restrictions by President
Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate. Whenever the Attorney General finds that a commercial airline has failed to comply with regulations of the Attorney General relating to requirements of airlines for the detection of fraudulent documents used by passengers traveling to the United States (including the training of personnel in such detection), the Attorney General may suspend the entry of some or all aliens transported to the United States by such airline.
Again, the statute requires that the Attorney General enforce this provision. Thus Yates had a clear duty under the statutory law to do what the EO required her to do, and she disobeyed a direct executive order of the President. She should have been fired, and she deserved to be fired. The President was acting lawfully; she was not.
At the end of the day every President gets the people he wants to run his government. Sally wasn’t going to have a job much longer anyway. Now she’s gone and she’ll be a superstar of the left. Fortunately, she doesn’t have much legal talent, because she plainly can’t read, and doesn’t understand the ethical rules regarding loyalty to her client.