Senator Ted Cruz showed his support for jailed Salon owner Shelly Luther after her release.
Luther was met with massive applause after being released from prison upon orders of the Texas Supreme Court.
Shelley Luther just walked out of prison and was met with massive applause. pic.twitter.com/S4GprwDSKx
— Caleb Hull (@CalebJHull) May 7, 2020
Per DallasNews, Sen. Ted Cruz flew to Dallas for his first haircut in three months on Friday — at the hair salon whose owner just spent two days in jail for defying emergency restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19.
Salon à la Mode owner Shelley Luther became a cause célèbre for Texas conservatives and others by reopening her business in violation of the governor’s orders, then refusing to back down when a local judge tried to enforce the ban.
“What happened to her was wrong. It was ridiculous to see someone sentenced to seven days in jail for cutting hair. That’s not right. That’s not justice, and that’s not Texas,” Cruz said.
Another stylist did the honors on Cruz’s overgrown locks, using a bright green comb and clippers. Luther checked her colleague’s work, wearing a red plaid mask. Cruz wore a striped white mask, leopard-print smock and white latex gloves.
“I got on a plane and I flew up from Houston. I needed a haircut anyway. And I figured that there wasn’t a better place I could pick on the face of the planet,” he told reporters afterward, standing outside with Luther nearby, still wearing their masks. “When she spoke up… she was speaking up for 29 million Texans across our state.”
He ignored questions about what punishment he would view as appropriate for people who violate public safety measures during an epidemic, or how such measures can be effective if compliance is entirely voluntary.
Asked what message it sends for him to celebrate a scofflaw, Cruz said: “What I’m celebrating is justice.”
“It is injustice to sentence someone to seven days in jail for cutting hair, particularly when you’ve got local politicians releasing violent criminals, releasing child molesters from jail. And we’re going to lock up a small-business owner? That is crazy,” he said.
With Texas jails trying to reduce the risk of contagion by releasing some inmates, Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order on March 29 that blocked the release of anyone charged with a violent crime, or with a history of violence, unless they could pay bail. The Texas Supreme Court upheld the order April 23.
If she had waited until Friday, Luther would have been in compliance with Abbott’s stay-home orders. On Tuesday, he eased restrictions, allowing hair and nail salons to open on Friday. On Thursday, with Luther at the Dallas County Jail, he clarified that people who defy his stay-home orders should not be arrested. The Texas Supreme Court quickly ordered her freed, two days into her seven-day term for contempt of court.