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Sarah Palin visited Dallas salon at center of controversy while the owner served jail time for refusing to close

Salon owner jailed for violating shutdown
Dallas salon owner jailed for violating shutdown orders 01:33

A Dallas salon that gained national attention when its owner refused to close the business during stay-at-home orders was visited by a high-profile supporter this week. Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin stopped by Salon A La Mode on Wednesday while the owner, Shelley Luther, was in jail, CBS Dallas-Fort Worth reports.

Palin, who was the 2008 Republican nominee for vice president alongside John McCain, visited the salon while she was on her way to Austin to visit her daughter, the station reports.

Palin posed for a photo with people inside Salon A La Mode, which has remained open despite county-wide stay-at-home orders. On Tuesday, Luther was sentenced to seven days in jail after she ignored multiple court orders to close her salon — one of which she ripped up at a rally in front of Frisco Town Hall. [Update: Luther was released Thursday afternoon; read the latest here.]

Luther's case became a rallying cry for "Open Texas" protesters who oppose shutdowns even as the coronavirus continues to spread rapidly in the state. Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick — who previously made headlines for saying grandparents like him would be willing to die to preserve the economy for future generations — paid Luther's $7,000 fine.

Palin's visit came the same day that Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton called for the "immediate release" of Luther from jail.  

Sarah Palin stopped by today!

Posted by Tim Georgeff on Wednesday, May 6, 2020

On Thursday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott modified his COVID-19 executive orders to eliminate confinement as a punishment for violating stay-at-home orders. Abbott specifically named Luther in his announcement, effectively ordering her freed.

In a press release, Abbott said throwing Texans in jail is "nonsensical," and said the new order "supersedes local orders and if correctly applied should free Shelley Luther."

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