On Friday of last week, President Donald Trump signed an executive order (meaning it has the full force of law) banning individuals from immigrating to the United States from the countries of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, the Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Another executive order signed by the President banned all refugees from entering the United States for the next four months as well. Both were met with nationwide protests, and even former (tears) President Barack Obama released a statement in support of the protesters and against Trump’s bans. And when acting Attorney General Sally Yates told the other members of the Justice Department not to defend Trump’s ban on Muslims—stating, "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," according to The New York Times—she was swiftly fired.
Jeff Sessions, a Republican senator for Alabama, will replace Yates if he's confirmed by the Senate. But in a remarkable video from Yates’ own confirmation hearing to the position in January of 2015, it was Sessions who questioned her ability to stand up to the President if necessary.
“If the views the president wants to execute are unlawful, should the attorney general or the deputy attorney general say no?” asked Sessions.
“I believe the attorney general or deputy attorney general has an obligation to follow the law and Constitution and give their independent legal advice to the president,” said Yates.
Given that that's exactly what Yates did, and she was fired for it, it's pretty amazing that the senator who asked her that question will now take her place—under the presumption that he won't say no to the president.