Sally Caroline Yates (née Quillian; August 20, 1960) is an American lawyer. She served as a United States Attorney and later United States Deputy Attorney General, having been appointed to both positions by President Barack Obama.
Following the inauguration of Donald Trump and the departure of Attorney General Loretta Lynch on January 20, 2017, Yates served as Acting Attorney General for 10 days. She was dismissed for insubordination by President Trump on January 30, after she instructed the Justice Department not to make legal arguments defending Executive Order 13769, which temporarily banned the admission of refugees and barred travel from certain Muslim-majority countries. Rather than defend it, Yates stated the order was neither defensible in court nor consistent with the Constitution. Large portions of the order were subsequently blocked by federal courts, which ruled that those sections violated the Fifth Amendment. However, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the third executive order (Presidential Proclamation 9645) and its accompanying travel ban in a 5–4 decision, with the majority opinion being written by Chief Justice John Roberts.
Following her dismissal, Yates returned to private practice and declined to run for elected office.