Instead of hiding in a comfortable bunker and calling strangers ‘fools’ like Cuomo is doing, Dan Patrick is showing real support and empathy for people suffering through this crisis.
How do you thread that needle when there is explicit division of powers not only between Executive, legislative, and judicial branches — but across different levels of government authority and responsibility — and yet a leader sees one of his own citizens being unjustly bludgeoned by an uncaring court?
Sometimes, it takes an extravagant act of mercy to throw a spotlight on just how unreasonable the other branches of authority have been.
You know that plucky salon owner from Dallas, Shelly Luther, who could have avoided jail and fines if she had only spoken words she didn’t believe to a court who really didn’t give a rat’s tuchus about the reality of her situation?
She was sentenced for her ThoughtCrime of daring to disagree (politely) with the court’s private moral judgment about a situation. Full story here: Texas Salon Owner Defies Lockdown Order Faces Fines, Jail Time–Her Response To The Judge Is PERFECTION
Luther had her own ‘Here I stand, I can do no other’ moment, and stood ready to pay a price for it. The Judge hit her with 7 days in jail and a fine of $3500 plus $500 per day for her disobedience.
Those who defend the Democrat judge say this about his ruling:
Moyé gave her a chance to avoid jail time by apologizing and admitting she had acted selfishly, putting her interests ahead of the community’s. But she refused, saying she needed to support her family.
…Anchía said that Moyé, who he said comes from a “working-class” family, has deep empathy for others — especially the underdog.
“I’m sure he was hoping that the owner would have taken responsibility, so that he could have allowed her to avoid jail time and simply pay a fine, but she didn’t want to do it,” Anchía said of the Luther case. “He was trying to apply [the law] fairly and with grace, and she continued to be defiant.”
Ron Kirk, the former mayor of Dallas and a friend of Moyé’s for 35 years, said the judge is “as principled and courageous of a lawyer as I know.” — DallasNews
How DARE a ‘free’ citizen be defiant of their overlords! In TEXAS of all places!
Not everyone shared the judge’s contempt for this citizen’s right to provide for her family.
Earlier Wednesday, [AG] Paxton called for the “immediate release” of Luther as he believed the judge was abusing his authority and that her arrest seemed like a “political stunt.”
“I find it outrageous and out of touch that during this national pandemic, a judge, in a county that actually released hardened criminals for fear of contracting COVID-19, would jail a mother for operating her hair salon in an attempt to put food on her family’s table,” said Attorney General Paxton. “The trial judge did not need to lock up Shelley Luther. His order is a shameful abuse of judicial discretion, which seems like another political stunt in Dallas. He should release Ms. Luther immediately.”
The attorney general sent a letter to Moye about his concerns about her arrest and sentencing.
Paxton told CBS 11 News there’s no action he can take beyond voicing his opinion as the state’s top attorney. — DFW CBS local
Gov. Abbott agreed with the AG. Dan Patrick went a step further and put his money where his mouth is… literally.
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. #txlege #TexansHelpingTexans https://t.co/gdtMLAHFV5
— Dan Patrick (@DanPatrick) May 6, 2020
In other words, Patrick is telling the judge to do what he thinks is required of his position, while he will proceed to do what he thinks is required of his own.
Patrick leaves the judge’s authority intact while using his OWN to show compassion in taking the teeth out of his ruling.
Suddenly the ‘sending a message’ aspect of the Judge’s heavy-handed punishment looks pretty foolish.
The punishment is not being ignored or rescinded. It is just absorbed by someone who is able to sustain it without being destroyed.
How very… Christian… of him.
This does something else, too. It makes the puffed-up moralizing the judge was doing from the bench look, well, like puffed up moralizing.
Apologize for being selfish… or else.
This New York-born, and Harvard-trained judge seems not to have gotten the memo yet…
Texas is NOT New York or New England.
And so long as there are people like Luther and Patrick keeping that spirit alive… it never will be.