The Republican Governor of Texas, Greg Abbott released a statement on the jailing of Shelley Luther, for opening a salon and refusing to apologize to a power-hungry judge named Eric Moye. Abbott, along with an even more damning statement from Attorney General Ken Paxton, voiced extreme concerns to the overreaction. Paxton has called for the immediate release of Luther. Governor Abbott’s statement read:
“I join the Attorney General in disagreeing with the excessive action by the Dallas Judge, putting Shelley Luther in jail for seven days. 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 of achieving that goal than jailing a Texas mother.” See the tweet below with Paxton’s statements alongside it:
Earlier this week it was reported that Luther was found to be in violation of the governor’s order by continuing to operate her hair salon. She and her business were also fined $500 a day that they were in violation. Judge Moye said that the salon would continue to rack up fines every day they remained open until the governor’s order was over. Luther had previously received a cease-and-desist letter from Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, which ordered the closure of her salon. She publicly ripped that up.
According to DFW CBS:
Several of her supporters waited outside the courtroom and were visibly displeased by her arrest.
“If you would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge that your own actions were selfish, putting your own interest ahead of those in the community in which you live,” Judge Moye said, offering her a chance to avoid jail time. He said he would consider only giving her a fine, if she apologized, acknowledged she was wrong, and agreed to keep her business closed until Friday, when the governor has announced all salons may open.
“I have much respect for this court and laws. I have never been in this position before and it’s not someplace that I want to be,” Luther responded. “But I have to disagree with you sir, when you say that I’m selfish because feeding my kids — is not selfish. I have hair stylists that are going hungry because they’d rather feed their kids. So sir, if you think the law is more important than kids getting fed, then please go ahead with you decision but I am not going to shut the salon.”
Luther’s attorney, Warren Norred, vowed to appeal the decision. He said the salon would likely continue to open its doors, increasing the $3,500 fine against it by $500 each day it does before the governor’s new order takes effect Friday.
As the nation continues to slowly re-open in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people’s lives have been ruined financially in addition to those who have suffered directly because of the fast-spreading virus. Some business owners in various states have defied orders in an attempt to keep their livelihoods and businesses from being permanently destroyed.
Power-hungry judges with attitudes aligned with that of parents who make their kids “apologize” for what they did to earn favor back with them in probably not the best attempt and treating the populace fairly in a situation where the entire nation is reeling. It’s a welcome surprise to see some politicians like Abbott speak out in favor of the people.
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