Former acting U.S. Attorney General Sally Yates will serve as a distinguished lecturer at the Georgetown University Law Center in government during the 2017 fall semester, according to a GULC press release Sep. 21.

“Sally Yates is an extraordinary public servant who has had a career of the greatest consequence,” GULC Dean William M. Treanor wrote in the press release. “It is a privilege to have her join our faculty this fall.”

According to the press release, Yates will be working with faculty to lecture and advise students at the Law Center. In the press release, Yates expressed her excitement to take on the position.

“Georgetown has a long and distinguished history of rigorous and thoughtful academic dialogue and a commitment to social justice. I look forward to being a part of this dynamic environment and interacting with their outstanding students and faculty,” Yates said.

Yates was confirmed as Deputy Attorney General in May 2015, nominated by former President Barack Obama. Yates gained national attention after refusing to enforce President Donald Trump’s executive order banning entry to travellers from seven Muslim-majority countries on Jan. 27.

Former acting U.S. Attorney General Sally Yates, whom President Donald Trump fired in January, will teach at the Law Center this fall.

Before serving as deputy U.S. attorney general, Yates worked at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia and was the lead prosecutor in the case against the Centennial Olympic Park bomber, Eric Rudolf.

Trump’s immigration measure initially barred visa and green card-holders from entering the United States and prompted protests across the country, including on Georgetown University’s campus. The University submitted an amicus brief arguing against the immigration ban and provided free immigration consultations for those affected on campus by Trump’s ban.

The executive order was halted by federal judges after several states and organizations took legal action against the Trump administration. The Supreme Court reinstated some aspects of the executive order on June 26 and has agreed to review the case later in October of this year.

Yates did not find the ban to be in accordance with the mission of the Justice Department and was therefore terminated from her position, which would later be filled by current Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Yates is not the first person associated with the GULC to oppose Trump’s immigration ban. Senior United States District Court Judge James Robart (LAW ’73) suspended the ban a week after it was issued on Feb. 3.

On May 8, Yates and former United States Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testified in front of the Senate Judiciary’s Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism on Russian interference in the 2016 election. Yates testified on her efforts to warn the Trump administration about then-National Security Advisor Michael Flynn’s dealings with Russian officials.

Almost a year after being fired from Trump’s administration, Sally Yates will be joining the Law Center as part of the Distinguished Visitors from Government program, which brings former officials who were recently active in public service to teach students.

Yates will also deliver GULC’s annual Philip A. Hart Memorial Lecture, named after a U.S Senator and Georgetown alumnus.


  1. Ancient Hoya says:

    Why “sacked”? She was removed for sticking to her principles and serving the country the way she felt was required. Sacked has negative connotations.

  2. She was a political appointee and Obama administration holdover who should have resigned Obama’s last day b/c that’s what appointees do, but was allowed to stay. Once she publicly stated she would refuse to enforce the law she was fired for cause.

    The acting attorney general and all government officials have a responsibility to follow the laws of this nation, especially if they’re in the Department of Justice. If they can’t do that they should resign, or be removed, as happened to Yates.

    Question: Why should anyone respect the law or the courts system if we have people like Yates ignoring or violating the law because they don’t like it? And now that Republicans are in office why shouldn’t they behave like Yates and just say screw the rule of law, we’re going to behave like Yates and the Democrats? The country depends on following the law, regardless of which party is in power. But for some reason, only the Republicans follow this rule, as is evident by the strong Democrat support for illegal immigration.

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