AUSTIN, TX – The Supreme Court of Texas ordered Dallas salon owner Shelley Luther releaded from jail following a week a sentence by a lower court judge for contempt of court. The act of contempt was daring to refuse to close her salon amid draconian shutdown orders that threaten her and her employees’ livelihoods, after she was cited and then ordered to cease and desist operations.
From The Blaze:
“[…] Luther grabbed national headlines after she defied the state-mandated stay-at-home orders to continue business at Salon A La Mode, which she owns.
On Tuesday, Luther was sentenced to seven days in jail for violating a temporary restraining order to close her business and was fined $500 each day that the salon remained open, which totaled $7,000.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott modified his executive orders on Thursday to remove confinement as a punishment for violations.
“Throwing Texans in jail who have had their businesses shut down through no fault of their own is nonsensical, and I will not allow it to happen,” Abbott said on Thursday. “That is why I am modifying my executive orders to ensure confinement is not a punishment for violating an order.”
“I am eliminating jail for violating an order, retroactive to April 2, superseding local orders,” Abbot said. “Criminals shouldn’t be released to prevent COVID-19 just to put business owners in their place.”
It is not clear, however, whether this will help Luther ultimately avoid the remainder of her sentence, since she was sentenced for violating a judicially-issued restraining order rather than directly for violation of Governor Abbott’s executive order. […]”
Flexing his discretionary authority in an effort to make Luther submit — to make her bow at the altar of the State and its power to make her conform, to her own detriment — the lower court judge dangled a jail sentence as a stick, and promised he wouldn’t use it if she apologized, admitted she was wrong and selfish, and agreed to keep her shop closed under lockdown orders.
Instead, Luther refused. She refused to participate in the sham that would embolden arbitrary government overreach and diminish the rights and realities of small-business owners like her all across Texas and the nation. The Texas Supreme Court agrees she deserves released. Perhaps this hearing will be the first of many to call out the surplus of infringement during the pandemic panic and hold accountable those that perpetrated the abusive, unconstitutional policies.