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Republicans Get Major Supremem Court Victory

They highest court in the land finally sided with the American people.

There’s been an update in the case of Shelley Luther, the Dallas salon owner who was briefly jailed last May for refusing to close her business in compliance with stay-at-home orders. On Friday, the Texas Supreme Court unanimously tossed out a civil and criminal contempt of court action against her, because the temporary restraining order the judge based it on was not clear on what conduct was prohibited, according to Chuck Lindell with Austin American-Statesman.

Lindell also reported that, with added emphasis:

On Friday, the court issued its ruling, agreeing with Luther’s claim that the temporary restraining order did not properly inform the salon owner about what conduct was prohibited.
[State District Judge Eric] Moyé’s order accused Luther of violating state, county and city emergency regulations but did not specify which rules were broken, nor did it specify which “in-person services” were banned at Salon a la Mode, the court ruled.
In addition, the order violated the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, which requires court orders to specify what action must be halted without forcing people to refer to other documents.
“Luther could not know without analyzing a multitude of regulations — state, county, and city emergency orders referenced in the temporary restraining order, plus the federal guidelines they referenced — what conduct was prohibited at any given time,” the court said in an unsigned opinion.

Yes, it would help to know what rules you’re breaking when doing so sends you to jail.

Lindell also includes statements from Luther’s lawyers and explains that “the next step” is a lawsuit against Dallas:

Warren Norred, another lawyer for Luther, said attention will next shift to her counter lawsuit against Dallas, which has a trial date set for Dec. 14.
“We’re obviously very pleased,” he said. “It was nice to see the Supreme Court make a ruling that was straightforward and resolved the matter so we now can take the next step in our lawsuit.”

Luther was freed from jail when the Texas Supreme Court intervened in that as well. She was sentenced to serve a seven-day jail sentence, but only served two after Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX) revised his executive order so as to prevent jailing of business owners, also providing retroactive protection. He specifically named Luther.

Luther became a face for business owners who were determined to provide for their families and for their employees to be able to do so. Particularly memorable is an exchange with Judge Moyé when she was sentenced to jail, which Ellie reported on.

The judge held over Luther the option to avoid her jail sentence if she apologized and in her statement she acknowledged that “that the society cannot function where one’s own belief in the concept of liberty permits you flaunt your disdain for the rulings of duly elected officials.”

Judge Moyé also told her that “You owe an apology to the elected officials whom you disrespected by flagrantly ignoring and, in one case, defiling, their orders, which you now know obviously applied to you” and even called her decision to remain open “selfish.”

That did not sit well with Luther, who refused to apologize, and was taken to jail. “I have to disagree with you, sir, when you say that I am selfish because feeding my kids is not selfish,” Luther said. “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 being fed, then please go ahead with your decision. But I’m not going to shut the salon,” is what she actually said in her statement.

Luther went on to run for State Senate, winning more votes than any other candidate in a six-way race. She lost in the run-off to fellow Republican Drew Springer, however.

Sources: TownHall: Texas Supreme Court Voids Restraining Order Against Salon Order

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