Sally Yates is already working at the U.S. Department of Justice, as the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Georgia. Now President Barack Obama is expected to announce on Monday that U.S. Attorney Sally Yates will be his nominee for deputy attorney general, the No. 2 position at the Justice Department, a U.S. official said.
Yates, 54, is known as a close ally of outgoing U.S. Attorney Eric Holder’s Justice Department and a vocal proponent of Holder’s policies on lowering incarceration rates by cutting jail time for low-level drug offenders.
During her time as a federal prosecutor in Georgia, Yates led several high-profile cases, including the successful prosecution of Eric Rudolph, who bombed a building in Atlanta during the 1996 Olympics.
Republicans are not impressed, however. Some GOP members, including Senators Ted Cruz, Mike Lee and David Vitter, have threatened to hold up confirmation of the new attorney general, who would oversee Yates, over disagreements with Obama’s new immigration policy, Reuters reports.
If confirmed, Yates will replace outgoing Deputy Attorney General James Cole, who is leaving in January and has not announced future plans.
Yates currently serves on Holder’s advisory committee of U.S. attorneys under the leadership of Loretta Lynch, Obama’s pick to be the next attorney general.
“Their very effective partnership leading the U.S. attorney community will be taken to a whole new level,” said U.S. Attorney for New Jersey Paul Fishman, who previously led the committee.