During the Sally Yates hearing on Monday, Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz tried to best Sally Yates with the law, only to be humiliated by her legal knowledge.
Crus was not concerned with Russia, but with Yates having been fired for refusing to defend Donald Trump’s immigration travel ban executive order (Muslim ban) in court because she was concerned it wasn’t constitutional.
With a calm and cool demeanor that brought back the no drama Obama years, Yates schooled Ted Cruz and finished him off by bringing out religious freedom in her defense.
Cruz came prepared to humiliate Sally Yates, so he started off with what he thought was going to be a class on the law. Framing her actions as “defying” the President, Cruz even brought the numbers to a statute that he called Yates out on for not defending Trump’s immigration ban.
“Are you familiar with 8 U.S.C. Section 1182,” Cruz asked, citing right wing blogs with all the promise of a great set up.
“Not off the top of my head, no,” Yates answered calmly.
“Well, it is the binding statutory authority for the executive order that you refused to implement and that led to your termination so it certainly is a relevant and not terribly obscure statute.” Cruz read the statute to Yates/his audience.
“Would you agree that that is broad statutory authorization?” Cruz finished happily.
“I would, and I am familiar with that and I’m also familiar with an additional provision of the INA that says, ‘No person shall receive preference or be discriminated against in issuance of a VISA because of race, nationality or place of birth,'” Yates said, schooling Cruz on the very issue over which he tried to shame her.
“That, I believe, was promulgated after the statute that you just quoted. And that’s been part of the discussion with the court with respect to the INA, is whether this more specific statute trumps the first one that you just described,” Yates finished, putting a pretty cherry on Cruz’s humiliation.
The lesson here is don’t ask Sally Yates a question if you don’t already know the answer. Oh, wait. She wasn’t done yet.
“But my concern here was not an INA concern, it rather was a constitutional concern. Whether or not the executive order here violated the constitution, specifically with the establishment clause and due process.”
Cruz responded rather clumsily by calling her argument one that “partisan litigants” would make. That is, people who can’t argue the law with Sally Yates and win.
This went on until Yates finished Cruz off by citing religious freedom in her defense.