Victory! Following protest, Texas Governor and Lt. Governor voice support for jailed salon owner
Updated: May 8
UPDATE: Shelley Luther is free! Following a protest organized in part by OpentheStates.com, the Texas Supreme Court ordered that Shelley be released from jail.
In the wake of a tidal wave of support for a Texas salon owner who kept her business open in defiance of her city's lockdown orders, Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Lt. Governor Dan Patrick voiced support for the owner.
Dallas resident Shelley Luther was sentenced to seven days in jail after refusing to apologize for keeping her hair salon open. After a protest at the Dallas County Courthouse -- which Mark Meckler and others attended -- Lt. Governor Dan Patrick offered to pay Luther's $7,000 fine and serve her jail sentence himself:
“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 herfamily’s table,” Patrick said in a statement. “The trial judge did not need to lock up Shelley Luther. His order is a shameful abuse of judicial discretion, which seems like another political stunt in Dallas. He should release Ms. Luther immediately.”
Governor Greg Abbott echoed Patrick's statement:
"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."
Abbott and Patrick are making the right call, but they may have come to a different conclusion without pressure from re-open movement patriots. This is why it's crucial we keep up the pressure. Even as we see states beginning to re-open, we must remain vigilant to ensure that the re-open plans are real and that local authorities don't continue to flout constitutional rights.
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