A Texas hair salon business owner has had her entire world flipped upside down in recent weeks for daring to open her business amid an executive order from Republican Gov. Greg Abbott to remain closed.
Dallas hair salon owner Shelley Luther was sentenced to seven days in prison and fined $3,000 in penalties on Tuesday after she opened her business.
Now, Texas Republican Rep. Dan Crenshaw is taking action and leading the charge against the Democrat judge in Texas.
Crenshaw accused Judge Eric Moye of getting in the way of U.S. citizens trying to earn a living
“These punishments are NOT just,” Crenshaw said. “They are not reasonable. Small-minded ‘leaders’ across the country have become drunk with power.”
The Republican congressman continued, “This must end.”
These punishments are NOT just. They are not reasonable. Small-minded “leaders” across the country have become drunk with power. This must end. https://t.co/d31aEZg8b4
— Dan Crenshaw (@DanCrenshawTX) May 6, 2020
Luther’s case has ignited a firestorm across the country and lead to many Republicans slamming the lockdown orders as draconian and going so far that local economies are irreparably hurting.
“7 days in jail for cutting hair?? This is NUTS,” Texas Sen. Ted Cruz tweeted Tuesday. “And government officials don’t get to order citizens to apologize to them for daring to earn a living.”
Republican Rep. Chip Roy, also from Texas, encouraged his Twitter followers to donate to a GoFundMe supporting Luther.
Please contribute to the “godundme” of Shelly Luther – the hair stylist in Dallas who told the powers that be of local/state government to pound sand & received 7 days in jail (no bail) & $7k fine… has attys fees mounting… @LetAmericaOpen #OpenTexas https://t.co/2z9wxoZ7J6
— Chip Roy (@chiproytx) May 5, 2020
Judge Eric Moye lashed out at Luther, accusing her of placing her ideas of liberty and freedom above the welfare of the Texan people.
“That you now see the error of your ways and understand that the society cannot function when one’s own belief in a concept of liberty permits you to flaunt your disdain for the rulings of duly elected officials,” Moye said. “That you owe an apology to the elected officials for whom you disrespected for flagrantly ignoring and, in one case, defiling their orders, which you now know obviously applies to you.”
Luther, who is the owner of Salon A la Mode and Hot Mess Enterprises, was then given an opportunity to respond.
“Judge, I would like to say that I have much respect for this court and laws, and that I’ve never been in this position before, and it’s not someplace that I want to be, but I have to disagree with you, sir, when you say that I’m selfish,” said Luther. “Because feeding my kids is not selfish. I have hair stylists that are going hungry because they’d 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’m not going to shut the salon.”
The judge told Shelley Luther she
could avoid jail time if she apologized, admitted she was wrong, and agreed to close her hair salon until it was allowed to open.
— Andrea Lucia (@CBS11Andrea) May 5, 2020
The Washington Examiner has more details on Luther’s case:
Moye said Luther should have hired a lawyer if she wanted to challenge the governor’s executive order to lock down, which expires for salons this Friday.
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins added that he would consider lightening Luther’s sentence if she admitted her actions were wrong. Luther, who joined hundreds of anti-lockdown protesters in April, ripped up a court order instructing her to keep her business closed.
Luther will be fined $500 for every day the salon was open last week and another $500 for every day she keeps it open before the state’s executive order against nonessential businesses is lifted.
Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott called on Luther to be released from jail on Wednesday, so time will tell what happens next.