At a hearing on her nomination to become Deputy Attorney General, Sally Yates refused to answer a Senator’s question about whether she personally considered the President’s executive amnesties to be lawful. However, citing her role as Acting Deputy Attorney General, Yates said she stands by the Administration's pleadings in cases before a federal district judge in Texas and the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, according to a report in Politico.
Responding to Sen. Mike Lee’s (R-Utah) question, Yates said "This matter is in the courts now and as everybody here knows the Texas district court has ruled and the Department of Justice is going to abide by that ruling, not just in Texas but across the country, unless and until a higher court reaches a different decision. The Department of Justice is now currently involved in litigation on precisely this matter and as the acting deputy attorney general, it's really not appropriate for me to be giving my personal opinion on any matter in which the department is involved in pending litigation....The department's position is set forth in the pleadings and I stand by those pleadings."
Although Yates did not give Sen. Lee, and later Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala, a direct answer, she noted that those challenging the legality of the executive amnesties have made reasonable arguments. "It is an issue on which reasonable people can disagree," Yates said.
Senators posed the same question in January to Loretta Lynch, the president's nominee for Attorney General, who cited her support for the Administration’s executive amnesties. This caused a number of Republicans to oppose her confirmation.
Read more in Politico.
Updated: Wed, Oct 11th 2017 @ 3:13pm EDT