Former acting Attorney General Sally Yates was nominated for a John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage award after refusing to defend President Donald Trump's immigration ban on seven Muslim-majority countries.
"Just told w/ Sally Yates I've nominated her 4 President Kennedy’s Profile in Courage Award 4 standing 4 the public good #ThankYouSallyYates," tweeted Democratic Rep. Jackie Speier of California.
The award has been given annually since 1990 and "recognizes a public official (or officials) at the federal, state or local level whose actions demonstrate the qualities of politically courageous leadership in the spirit of Profiles in Courage, President Kennedy’s 1957 Pulitzer prize-winning book, which recounts the stories of eight U.S. Senators who risked their careers by embracing unpopular positions for the greater good," according to the JFK Library and Museum website.
Trump fired Yates after she refused to defend the executive order calling for the immigration ban in federal court.
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In a White House statement, Trump said Yates "betrayed the Department of Justice by refusing to enforce a legal order designed to protect the citizens of the United States."
Yates released a statement that defended her decision.
"My responsibility is to ensure that the position of the Department of Justice is not only legally defensible, but is informed by our best view of what the law is after consideration of all the facts," she said in a letter, according to CNN. "In addition, I am responsible for ensuring that the positions we take in court remain consistent with this institution's solemn obligation to always seek justice and stand for what is right."