Crenshaw calls out 'so-called' judges 'drunk on power' after jailing of Texas salon owner

Crenshaw calls out 'so-called' judges 'drunk on power' after jailing of Texas salon owner

    A number of influential Texas conservatives are protesting in support of Shelley Luther, the Dallas salon owner who was fined and sentenced to seven days in jail for violating an order to shut down her company during the COVID-19 outburst.


    Rep. Chip Roy, R-Austin, was among the most outspoken, calling her penalty "terrible" and "straight-up wrong." "We shouldn't come down with a seven-day jail, no bail sentence for her trying to keep her hair salon open because she needs to look after her children," he said in a live interview with The Texas Tribune on Wednesday.    

    His opinion was shared by the likes of Republican Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Houston, along with conservative activists who protested Wednesday in Dallas.
    Gov. Greg Abbott, who reopened hair salons on Friday after calling them non-essential for weeks, also said on Wednesday that Shelley's sentence was "excessive," adding that "Chailing Texans for non-compliance with executive orders should always be the last option available." "Compliance with executive orders during this pandemic is critical for maintaining public safety," Abbott, a Republican, said in his statement. "Yet there are certainly less restrictive ways to achieve that goal than jailing a Texas mother."    

    Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, also a Republican, called Wednesday to free Luther from jail. Roy, a former federal prosecutor, admitted in his interview with the Tribune that Luther violated the orders given by Abbott and Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, a Democrat, and clarified that he was "strongly concerned about the rule of law." La Mode by saying "in the face of everything she feels is wrong, she's behaving civilly disobedient."

    But the congressman for the first time defended Salon's owner ... Questioned later on Wednesday by The Dallas Morning News what kind of punishment should be imposed on those who violate such an edict in order to deter others from ignoring them as well, Roy asked, "What is the appropriate punishment for speeding 68 in a 65 in the middle of nowhere?" "Good judges and locals? "Seven days in prison without bail is definitely out of line. She should be allowed to work."


    The episode highlights some of the strong undercurrents in the ongoing debate about how the government should respond to the pandemic in the Lone Star State: Texas individualism vs. sensitivities to law and order. Public health and economic prosperity. For example, too little action vs. too much Abbott has faced criticism from many Democrats for moving too fast in re-opening the state and pushback from some Republicans for not acting with sufficient alacrity.

    Luther's salon has provided a high-profile flashpoint, highlighting both the struggles many small businesses have faced within the face of shelter-in-place orders and therefore the potential health concerns that would arise from haircutting and other activities that involve close, physical contact. Her Far North Dallas salon was forced to shut in late March after it and lots of other businesses were deemed nonessential by Dallas County's stay-at-home order, which was soon reinforced by an identical edict that Abbott issued at the state level. Luther reopened her salon April 24 then tore up a cease-and-desist letter from Jenkins. She then continued to stay open her business after state District Judge Eric Moyé on April 28 signed a short-lived restraining order. That led to Tuesday's sentencing for contempt of court. ⇆ Moyé said he would consider levying only a fine if Luther apologized and promised to not reopen her salon until she was permitted to try to so. But she declined to try to so, explaining that it had been a matter of survival to stay open the business. "Feeding my kids isn't selfish," she said at her hearing, which was broadcast on YouTube. "If you think that the law is more important than kids getting fed, then please plow ahead together with your decision, but I'm not getting to shut the salon." Her case had already drawn outrage in some conservative quarters, particularly those pushing for Texas to reopen more quickly. That criticism intensified after she was taken into custody. "This is so insane," Roy wrote on Twitter, encouraging Luther to inform Moyé to "pound sand" and sharing a link to a GoFundMe that has already raised quite $250,000 for the salon owner. "I haven't any words for what's happening to my state and nation." Cruz offered an identical sentiment. "7 days in jail for cutting hair??" he wrote on Twitter. "This is NUTS. And officialdom isn't getting to order citizens to apologize to them for daring to earn a living." So did Crenshaw, another freshman Republican in Congress. "These punishments aren't just," he wrote on Twitter. "They aren't reasonable. Small-minded "leaders" across the country became drunk with power. This must end." Some conservative activists rallied on Wednesday in downtown Dallas in support of Luther. Among them was Michael Quinn Sullivan, the chief executive officer of Empower Texans, a gaggle that's criticized Abbott et al. for restrictions they've put into place. It remains to be seen what percentage Texans will patronize those businesses even once they open. A recent Dallas Morning News-University of Texas at Tyler poll found, as an example, that 35 percent of Texans would feel comfortable shopping face to face once public spaces and businesses reopen, while 49 percent would feel uncomfortable.

    Post a Comment