Dallas Salon Owner Who Went to Jail for Violating Lockdown Advances to Runoff for State Senate Seat
On Tuesday, Shelley Luther advanced to a runoff election for a Dallas-area set in the Texas State Senate as a Republican.
Luther is a salon owner in Dallas who had the “temerity” to reopen her business during the coronavirus lockdown, and for the crime of making sure she and her employees would be able to feed their families, went to jail.
This put Luther into the national spotlight.
The backstory, as reported by HotAir, goes:
When she defied Governor Abbott’s lockdown orders, she was issued a citation. She tore up the citation when it was issued. She was found in civil and criminal contempt of court for ignoring a restraining order. Dallas Civil District Judge Eric Moyé ordered Luther to seven days in jail and fined her $500 for every day the salon stayed open. She was given the opportunity to apologize and not serve any time in jail but she refused to do so. She went on to explain to the judge why she reopened.
“If you would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge that your actions were selfish, putting your own interest ahead of those in the community in which you live,” Moyé said to Luther inside the courtroom Tuesday.
“I have to disagree with you sir, when you say that I’m selfish because feeding my kids is not selfish,” she said. “I have hairstylists that are going hungry because they’d rather feed their kids. So sir, if you think the law is more important than kids being fed then please go ahead with your decision but I’m not going to shut the salon.”
Abbott released a statement at the time which disagreed with the judge putting Shelley in jail. He quickly understood that she had the sympathies of Texans as a woman operating a small business, trying to support her children.
“As I have made clear through prior pronouncements, jailing Texans for non-compliance with executive orders should always be the last available option,” he said. “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.”
Governor Abbott reopened salons and barbershops shortly after all this happened. Senator Ted Cruz was supportive of her and enjoyed some publicity for going to her salon for a haircut.
Luther will be facing state Rep. Drew Springer. The date for the runoff is yet to be set.
Shelley Luther is the someone every struggling American can admire. She had the courage to defend her principles, and that’s a quality we should want in anyone we elect.