Shelley Luther may still be jailed for violating a court order to close her hair salon, explained her Warren Norred, her lawyer, on SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Sunday with host Joel Pollak.
Luther was fined and jailed for contempt of court and violation of a temporary restraining order directing her to close Dallas-based hair salon, Salon Á la Mode. Judge Eric Moyé, a Democrat elected to the 14th District Court in 2008, offered Luther the opportunity to avoid jail time if she indicted herself as “selfish” and closed her business.
Luther refused and said, “Feeding my kids is not selfish.”
Pollak described Luther’s case as representative of “a new emerging front in the struggle against big government.” He recalled Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) getting a haircut at Luther’s salon.
Hair salons & barbershops are open in TX today. Just got my hair cut for first time in 3 months at Salon ALa Mode to support Shelley Luther, who was wrongly imprisoned when she refused to apologize for trying to earn a living. Glad Shelley is out of jail & her business is open! pic.twitter.com/yJD8fWb84W
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) May 8, 2020
Norred mocked the premise of “white privilege” while noting other salons in Dallas have not been persecuted by local authorities while remaining open in defiance of an ongoing “stay at home” order issued by Dallas County commissioners.
“It’s very rich when I hear these people say, ‘white privilege,’ as though [Shelley Luther] was treated well,” Norred said. “There are salons in Dallas that never closed at all, and we’re forced to close, and I can tell you that that if anything [is] in somebody’s favor, it’s not in Shelley Luther’s favor.”
Norred explained that “under most normal circumstances,” a restraining order directing a person “to stop working and making an income” is paired with a bond “for the money that person would have made if they had been allowed to work” to compensate for monetary damages incurred by adherence to the order’s instructions.
The city “never posted a bond,” he added.
Norred continued, “The Supreme Court doesn’t say we’ve won, but they’ve simply said [we’ve] expressed an argument that may be valid, so the city of Dallas has until four o’clock tomorrow to respond to this, and and then the Supreme Court may take action or make some sort of decision.”
“This is an ongoing lawsuit,” added Norred. “This is a lawsuit by the city of Dallas — a normal, everyday civil lawsuit — where the city of Dallas is saying, ‘You’re breaking an ordinance, and we have the opportunity to go and sue you in civil court — not criminal — for breaking our ordinance.’ We’re going to say that ordinance is no good. It’s not based on any real law. It’s based on imaginary emergency regulations that do not have the force of law, because they break the rules of federalism,and only the Texas state legislature gets to make laws.”
Luther may still be jailed, added Norred. “[Shelley Luther] still has five days of jail, that if this doesn’t go right, she’ll still be faced with.”
Norred noted prosecutorial discretion is not a feature of his client’s case, given her potential jail time is rooted in her rejection of a judge’s directives. “She would be going to jail not for the violation of the ordinance for staying open, but for defying the court in violating that ordinance. When people say that one politician or another made the difference here, that’s just not true. I’s always true that a prosecutor can use discretion not to prosecute, [but] his isn’t that kind of case. This is a civil lawsuit, and she was put in jail for criminal contempt of violating a court order.”
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