Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, a right-wing extremist and notorious anti-LGBT bigot, has paid the fine of a Dallas salon owner who was jailed for violating an order to close her business amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“7 days in jail, no bail and a $7K fine is outrageous. No surprise Texans are responding. I’m covering the $7K fine she had to pay and I volunteer to be placed under House Arrest so she can go to work and feed her kids,” Patrick tweeted Wednesday.
Patrick has said that America should reopen despite the COVID-19 crisis because “there are more important things than living.” He has also suggested that senior citizens should be willing to die from the virus to save the economy.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, Attorney General Ken Paxton, Sen. Ted Cruz, Congressman Chip Roy and other Republicans also rushed to Luther’s defense, while Fox News host Sean Hannity compared her to “Braveheart.” (It’s worth noting that Luther was jailed for violating Abbott’s own coronavirus restrictions.)
A GoFundMe campaign in support of Luther, which describes her as “American Hero” who “decided to resist tyranny,” has raised more than $500,000, more than doubling its original goal.
Paxton wrote a letter Wednesday to Judge Eric Moyé, who sentenced Luther, calling the decision “outrageous” and demanding her release.
Moye, joined by 11 other state district judges in Dallas, responded by accusing Paxton of violating the Texas Code of Judicial Conduct, which bars ex parte communications about a case.
“In this context, for you to ‘Urge’ a judge towards a particular substantive outcome in this matter is most inappropriate and equally unwelcome,” Moyé and the other judges wrote. “Please to no communicate with the Court in this manner further. …
“It is contrary to the concept of an independent Judiciary and offends the tradition of separation of powers for any member of the Executive Branch of Texas government to interject itself into the proceedings of the judicial branch,” the judges wrote. “For the sake of ALL of the citizens of Texas, please let the Judicial process play out without any further interference.”
Watch a report from CBSDFW.com below.