Texas: Attorney General Tells Judge To Free Dallas Woman Who Defied COVID-19 Orders To Open Her Business: “His Order Is Shameful Abuse Of Judicial Discretion”
Texas Governor Greg Abbott has backed Attorney General Ken Paxton’s letter to a Dallas judge to release a Dallas salon owner that defied the county’s unlawful shutdown of her business and said she would not apologize for it and was sentenced to 7 days in jail and fined $7,000.
We highlighted the story of Shelly Luther over the past couple of days.
- Texas: Armed Supporters Show Up To Guard Dallas Salon Defying COVID-19 Stay-At-Home Order
- Texas: With Armed Protesters In Front Of Her Salon, Business Owner Dares Cops To Arrest Her For Opening (Video)
- Texas: Dallas Salon Owner Who Defied Tyrannical Lockdown & Reopened Her Business Gets 7 Days Jail, Fined $7,000
Paxton sent a letter to the judge that sentenced Luther writing, “I find it outrageous and out of touch that during this national pandemic, a judge, in a county that actually released hardened criminals for fear of contracting COVID-19, would jail a mother for operating her hair salon in an attempt to put food on her family’s table. The trial judge did not need to lock up Shelley Luther. His order is shameful abuse of judicial discretion, which seems like another political stunt in Dallas. He should release Ms. Luther immediately.”
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
Fox News has reported:
Abbott said he agreed with his attorney general on the matter. Later Wednesday, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick vowed to pay her fines — $500 for each day the salon was open — and volunteered to go under house arrest on the condition she be freed.
“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.”
Clearly, this is not an issue of law and so the governor should step in and simply issue a pardon and called for the judge’s impeachment, not simply make statements, as should Paxton.
“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.”
Though the judge offered her a way out if she merely took the mark of the beast and bowed to the color of law in his demands, she chose to defy the court in favor of doing what is right.
“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.”
The Lt. Governor of Texas, Dan Patrick, also spoke out against the injustice.
He tweeted, “7 days in jail, no bail and a $7K fine is outrageous. No surprise Texans are responding. I’m covering the $7K fine she had to pay and I volunteer to be placed under House Arrest so she can go to work and feed her kids.”
7 days in jail, no bail and a $7K fine is outrageous. No surprise Texans are responding. I’m covering the $7K fine she had to pay and I volunteer to be placed under House Arrest so she can go to work and feed her kids. #txlege #TexansHelpingTexans https://t.co/gdtMLAHFV5
— Dan Patrick (@DanPatrick) May 6, 2020
Well, yeah, guys, but your words are not getting her out of jail nor eliminating the fine, nor expunging her record, nor dealing with this lawless judge! Get to work on bringing justice for this woman instead of offering mere words!
“In light of the foregoing, your actions abused your discretion in holding Ms. Luther in contempt and ordering her to jail in a civil court proceeding,” Paxton said. “For these reasons, the Court should immediately reconsider its order and release Ms. Luther from confinement.”
Ok, but those are words, Mr. Paxton.
This is what I’m talking about people. Often the Republicans are simply impotent to do the right thing in office. They talk, but they do not act while the other party has their mask off so you know exactly what they are.
Stop being cowards down there in Texas and go beyond your words. Start acting and bringing real justice, and you can start by freeing this woman and eliminating this judge from his position of public service.
A GoFundMe campaign has been launched on Luther’s behalf, with some $290,000 already donated.
That site says she “decided to resist tyranny by opening her business against an unlawful state executive order. Her business, SALON A LA MODE offers services for hair and nails, microblading, permanent makeup, professional event makeup, braiding and more!”