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Chicago Tribune: Trump Wrong for Ousting of AG Yates over ‘Unconstitutional’ Order

Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates

Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates

By Editorial Board
Chicago Tribune

President Donald Trump, the former TV reality star, has never said “You’re fired” like this.

His decision Monday night to oust acting Attorney General Sally Yates heightens the drama over his deplorable executive action on immigration. Trump’s move is petulant and unsettling, especially for Americans with long memories. That said, amateur historians rolling out comparisons to Richard Nixon‘s 1973 “Saturday Night Massacre” — the firing of his attorney general over Watergate — are overwrought.

We don’t know how this confrontation will end, but we’re certain we know where it is headed: to a cluster of federal courts. That’s where the Trump administration will attempt to defend the president’s overly broad order temporarily halting the country’s refugee program and banning citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States for 90 days. The countries are Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

Trump’s sweeping directive, signed Friday, was intended to protect the country from terrorism, but it’s deeply problematic and arguably unconstitutional. It was rolled out too quickly, without adequate time to debate its merits or explain the scope. The Associated Press reports that at least three top national security officials — Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly and Rex Tillerson, who is awaiting confirmation to lead the State Department — have told associates they were not aware of details of the directive until around the time Trump signed it.

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