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You have doubtless heard of the hair salon owner who defied the diktats, based in wildly unscientific fear-mongering, of Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins. For Texas counties, that is the top elected position. A black-robed minion under him, a trial judge, also let the mask slip on camera, in his entirely unprofessional treatment of Shelley Luther. Now the Texas Supreme Court has sprung Shelley Luther from jail and Governor Abbott’s new executive order has slammed the door on any further tin-pot thugs dragging people off to jail for allegedly violating a COVID-19 emergency executive order. Elections have consequences.
Clay Jenkins is a Democrat, behaving as Democrats will when they become comfortable that their electorate will never throw them out for a Republican. The fear shifts to attacks from the left, covered by moving enough left to keep winning. So, the residents of Dallas County have exactly the government for which they voted or failed to vote plus volunteer to drive turn-out against the Democrats.
The Austin American-Statesman writing about the Texas Supreme Court’s order, helpfully points out that a string of elections have consequences, provided you use them well:
The Texas Supreme Court on Thursday ordered Dallas County officials to free salon owner Shelley Luther from jail while its nine judges, all Republicans, weigh an appeal challenging her incarceration as improper.
Luther was released from the Dallas County Jail around 1:50 p.m., according to a sheriff’s department spokesman.
The emergency order directed county officials to release Luther on a personal bond, with no money required, “pending final disposition of her case.”
County officials also were ordered to file a response to the challenge by 4 p.m. Monday, the same day Luther’s weeklong sentence for contempt of court would have ended.
Elections, over time, can make a huge difference in the behavior of courts. President Trump remains focused on the importance of appointing judges at every level and doing so from a list that suggests they will not substitute personal and elite cultural preferences for written law. A string of conservative Texas Republican governors, with Republican legislatures, has led to the entire bench in the highest court in the state being filled with Republican appointees, and I don’t mean Anthony Kennedy types. Elections have real consequences, highlighted in a time of crisis.
Finally, there is the governor. Governor Abbott has navigated the recent uncertainty and panic about as well as a governor could be expected to do. He tried to give the counties room, since Texas is much bigger than most states, with wildly different realities in different parts of the Lone Star State. When local authorities got really stupid, between the Dallas County judge and the Ector County sheriff‘s A-team big boys, “Our Finest,” with the Army Iraq War surplus armored truck, the governor swiftly slammed the door on such excesses. Elections past and present matter a great deal.
Here, President Trump and Governor Abbott show by doing that elections matter. Do these seem like the kind of leaders you want in a tough spot? “We’re all warriors together.”
From the local executive and judges to the presidency of the United States, all offices matter. People who have long been complacent, accepting of local officials, have had their eyes opened. Those offices and names way down the long ballot are suddenly obviously affecting peoples’ lives. Now, We the People are without excuse this election year and in the off-year elections ahead. Elections have consequences for you and me.Published in