“You need to say no,” was the emphatic reply of Sally Yates at her confirmation hearing in 2015 for the office of Acting Attorney General, a pivotal position in terms of the US Constitution. The words must have resonated in America’s portals of power last Monday night, when she was fired by President Donald Trump. Ms Yates has demonstrated a fierce independence, a determination not to kowtow to a presidential imprimatur banning the entry of citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries. In parallel, she has reaffirmed that her office has an “obligation to follow the law and the Constitution and to give their independent legal advice to the President.” As much is clear from her caveat to the Justice Department lawyers ~ not to make legal arguments defending Mr Trump’s order on immigration and refugees because “I am not convinced that the executive order is lawful.” Well might Mr Trump boast the spurious satisfaction of having removed a Barack Obama nominee, but as she takes the bow Ms Yates has conveyed a pregnant message to the Oval Office, specifically that there can be no compromise on constitutional certitudes. And on the part of the 45th President of the US, it would be folie de grandeur to ignore the message. President Trump cannot be impervious to the fact that she has abided by her oath of office ~ to “support and defend the Constitution”. In the net, she has defended the Constitution from an aberration that reeks of communal prejudice, of a kind that has shaken America’s libertarian heritage. Of course, any government has the prerogative to fashion its defences against potential terrorists; but the Trump order was much too sweeping, covering both the innocent and the insurgent… and almost calculatedly excluding Saudi Arabia (despite 9/11), not to forget Pakistan and Egypt. Ms Yates was convinced that the ban was “transparently invalid in light of the Constitution, and so could not be defended in court”. Her dismissal must also register as her moral victory. That paradox raises the fundamental question ~ did Mr Trump violate the Constitution five days after his inaugural? It needs to be underlined that the statute prohibits the government from denying the liberty of people to come and go from the United States without due process of law. The presidential fiat, therefore, flies in the face of the Constitution. The Statue of Liberty is aghast. The tragedy is America’s as President Trump needs an Aunt Sally to counter dissent. His unguided missile has taken its toll.