News and Commentary

Texas Governor Abbott Joins Attorney General In Slamming Jail Sentence Of Salon Owner Who Opened Shop
Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced the US Army Corps of Engineers and the state are putting up a 250-bed field hospital at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in downtown Dallas during a press conference at the Texas State Capitol in Austin, Sunday, March 29, 2020.
Photo by Tom Fox-Pool/Getty Images

On Wednesday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott joined Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in slamming the jailing of salon owner Shelley Luther, who had been sentenced to a week in jail on Tuesday for opening her salon against state guidelines. Abbott issued a statement that read:

I join the Attorney General in disagreeing with the excessive action by the Dallas Judge, putting Shelley Luther in jail for seven days. 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.

Paxton wrote:

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 her family’s table. 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.

On Tuesday, Luther, the owner of Salon À la Mode, was sentenced to a week in jail and a $7,000 fine for opening her salon in defiance of state orders. She delivered a poignant answer when the judge said he’d rescind the jail sentence if she admitted she was wrong.

After Dallas Judge Eric Moye told Luther that she had the option of acknowledging she was wrong and had been selfish, and should apologize to elected officials for violating their orders, Luther responded, “Judge, I would like to say that I have much respect for this court and laws and that I have 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 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 am not going to shut the salon.”

Court documents stated, “On April 8, 2020, this Court entered a Temporary Restraining Order. Defendants were served with said Order that same day. The Order specified that the Defendants were ordered to case operation of their business ‘Salon a La Mode.’ The Order further enjoined and restrained the Defendants from continuing the operation of their business the salon.”

Last Wednesday, Luther stated, “Apparently there’s a very good chance that I’m getting arrested today and I will do everything I can to keep the shop open because I’m not closing the store. If they arrest me I have someone that will keep the store open because it’s our right to keep the store open. It’s our right for those women to earn income for their families.”

Note: The headline of this article has been revised. While Abbott joined Paxton in condemning the sentencing of Luther, he did not specifically call for her “immediate release.”

The Daily Wire, headed by bestselling author and popular podcast host Ben Shapiro, is a leading provider of conservative news, cutting through the mainstream media’s rhetoric to provide readers the most important, relevant, and engaging stories of the day. Get inside access to The Daily Wire by becoming a member.

Create a free account to join the conversation!

Already have an account?

Log in

Got a tip worth investigating?

Your information could be the missing piece to an important story. Submit your tip today and make a difference.

Submit Tip
Download Daily Wire Plus

Don't miss anything

Download our App

Stay up-to-date on the latest
news, podcasts, and more.

Download on the app storeGet it on Google Play
The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Texas Governor Abbott Joins Attorney General In Slamming Jail Sentence Of Salon Owner Who Opened Shop