Texas Republicans are rallying behind Shelley Luther after she was sentenced to seven days in jail and will be forced to pay a $7,000 fine for violating coronavirus-related restrictions.
As Fox News reports, Luther returned to work for seven days before Texas Governor Greg Abbott reopened businesses.
During court proceedings, she claimed she needed to do so to feed her children.
Republican Congressman Dan Crenshaw took to Twitter and called the sentencing “not just” and “not reasonable.”
He also said the “Small-minded ‘leaders’ across the country have become drunk with power.”
“This must end,” he added.
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
Republican Senator Ted Cruz similarly called the decision “nuts” and said Luther should never have to apologize “for daring to earn a living.”
“7 days in jail for cutting hair?? This is NUTS. And government officials don’t get to order citizens to apologize to them for daring to earn a living,” he tweeted.
7 days in jail for cutting hair?? This is NUTS. And government officials don’t get to order citizens to apologize to them for daring to earn a living. https://t.co/3rulRlN0gE
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) May 6, 2020
Ahead of the decision, Judge Eric Moyé gave Luther the chance to avoid jail time if she would apologize for acting “selfish.”
She did not apologize.
“I have to disagree with you, sir, when you say that I’m selfish because feeding my kids is not selfish,” she told the judge. “I have hairstylists that are going hungry because they would 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.”
According to the report, Luther was taken away by bailiffs and will be required to pay a $7,000 fine.
Fox News reports Luther is just the latest example of Americans being punished for trying to return to normalcy ahead of governments allowing them to do so:
In late April, a 40-year-old Idaho mother was arrested for allegedly refusing to leave a closed playground where she had brought her two children to play.
Her arrest later prompted a demonstration at city hall by more than 100 supporters.
In North Carolina, members of the “ReOpen NC” group were arrested last week, accused of resisting a public officer and violating the Democratic governor’s executive order.
“If you feel the need to stay home, it is your God-given right to do so. But we want to live!” suspect Ashley Elaina Smith said. “[Gov.] Roy Cooper has shown again and again how out of touch he really is. With his illogical declarations of who’s essential and who’s not, he’s effectively destroyed generational family businesses and many good businesses alike. He’s got to go. November’s coming, baby.”
Across the country, governors such as Laura Kelly of Kansas and Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan have faced opposition for the shutdown orders, such as Kelly’s limits on church gatherings – which faced GOP opposition and later a temporary restraining order – and Whitmer’s restrictions against traveling to relatives’ homes, and on sales of items such as gardening supplies, both of which were scaled back after public protests.