Sally Yates took a stand for something she believed in, and one of her fellow Americans thanked her by nominating her for a prestigious award for public officials.
President Donald Trump fired the former acting attorney general on Monday night for refusing to defend his recent executive order suspending refugee resettlement and banning entry of individuals from seven predominantly Muslim countries.
Yates was fired after she advised Justice Department lawyers also not to defend Trump’s executive order. She wrote them a letter saying she wasn’t “convinced that the defense of the executive order is consistent with these responsibilities, nor am I convinced that the executive order is lawful.”
People around the country and the internet have come out to show their support for Yates, and the hashtags #ThankYouSally, #ThankYouSallyYates and #SallyYates were all trending on Twitter.
But one act of appreciation stands out above the rest.
Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) tweeted out Tuesday afternoon that she had nominated Yates for the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award.
The award, which has been given out each year since 1990, “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.”
Essentially, the award celebrates officials who choose the public interest over partisanship, “who do what is right, rather than what is expedient.”
The response to Speier’s announcement has been overwhelmingly positive.
Nominations are accepted on a rolling basis over the course of the year, and nominations for this year appear to close in mid-February. The award will be presented at a ceremony at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in connection with the observance of Kennedy’s birthday on May 29.
What’s more is that you ― yes, you ― can also nominate Yates online if you’d like.