Shelley Luther owns a Dallas Salon and had to open her shop to feed her family. Likewise, her employees need to feed their families. She opened minutes after Governor Abbott okayed the opening of salons. All her employees had masks and were stationed 6 feet apart. She also had sanitizer stations available.
She was ordered by Judge Moye to apologize to him and remain closed. Ms. Luther refused and he imprisoned her for a week, while saddling her with oppressive fines. She was immediately taken into custody.
The Texas attorney general sent a letter urging the Dallas judge to free Ms. Luther. He said she was “unjustly jailed.” He also called it a “misguided abuse of power.”
Well, the judge’s little ego was offended, after all.
Shelley Luther should immediately be released from jail. Locking her up is a misguided abuse of power, especially considering Dallas County released real criminals to “protect them from COVID-19.”
Release her now so she can return to her family. pic.twitter.com/67KrhQBEyf
— Attorney General Ken Paxton (@KenPaxtonTX) May 6, 2020
As a mother, Ms. Luther wanted to feed her children,” Paxton said in his letter. “As a small business owner, she wanted to help her employees feed their children. Needless to say, these are laudable goals that warrant the exercise of enforcement discretion.”
Luther was given three choices by the judge: She could offer an apology for selfishness, pay a fine and shutdown until Friday, or serve jail time.
He apparently didn’t like her polite response. “I have to disagree with you, sir, when you say that I’m selfish because feeding my kids is not selfish,” she told the judge. “I have hairstylists that are going hungry because they would rather feed their kids. So sir, if you think the law is more important than kids getting fed, then please go ahead with your decision. But I am not going to shut the salon.”
Governor Abbott agrees:
“I join the Attorney General in disagreeing with the excessive action by the Dallas Judge, putting Shelley Luther in jail for seven days,” Abbott said. “As I have made clear through prior pronouncements, jailing Texans for non-compliance with executive orders should always be the last available option. Compliance with executive orders during this pandemic is important to ensure public safety; however, surely there are less restrictive means to achieving that goal than jailing a Texas mother.”
Texas Senator Curz also commented:
7 days in jail for cutting hair?? This is NUTS. And government officials don’t get to order citizens to apologize to them for daring to earn a living. https://t.co/3rulRlN0gE
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) May 6, 2020