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Inside Texas Politics: AG Paxton said arrest of salon owner was 'overreaching'

Texas AG Ken Paxton said it doesn't make sense to jail someone "for doing something that is normally a lawful activity."

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said a judge's decision to jail a Dallas salon owner was "a little odd and overreaching." 

The salon owner, Shelley Luther, was jailed after she violated a temporary restraining order telling her to close her Dallas business. Luther reopened her business before a statewide stay-at-home order was lifted. 

Paxton said it doesn't make sense to jail someone "for doing something that is normally a lawful activity."

Luther was released after spending two days in the Dallas County jail. The Supreme Court of Texas ordered her release Thursday. 

Earlier that day, Gov. Greg Abbott amended his executive order saying that violators couldn't be jailed. 

Watch this week's episode of Inside Texas Politics below:

Democrats react

Texas Democratic State Representative Chris Turner, of Grand Prairie, said the way Republican leaders have talked about the Luther case is misleading. 

He said Democrats are questioning why the AG and governor got involved in a local case. 

The City of Dallas sought the temporary restraining order in an effort to enforce the statewide rule. But Luther was only jailed after she didn't follow that restraining order. 

"Ms. Luther wasn't jailed because of violating executive orders. She was jailed for contempt of court," Turner said. "It's gotten a little twisted the way Republican politicians have talked about this the past few days." 

RELATED: Dallas salon owner who refused to close sentenced to 7 days in jail, ordered to pay fines

City budget cuts

Dallas City Councilman Casey Thomas says cities are struggling because of COVID-19. 

They must decide how to safely reopen businesses and government, and where to cut budgets because of lost sales tax revenue. 

It's happening in city halls across the state, including Dallas.

RELATED: As coronavirus shutdowns sink city budgets, Dallas furloughs 500 employees

Reopening Texas

Though Gov. Greg Abbott has allowed some businesses to start reopening, leaders in large cities continue to urge people to stay home as possible. Many urban areas are seeing high daily numbers of new COVID-19 cases. 

Large cities are seeing high daily numbers of coronavirus cases. 

The governor said in a phone call to lawmakers -- that was later leaked by Texas Democrats -- that confirmed cases will increase. Abbott said there's one metric he's specifically looking at – the hospitalization rate. 

There are more cases reported, but fewer of them are ending up in hospitals. 

RELATED: Texas hair salons, barbershops, nail salons cleared to reopen Friday, Gov. Greg Abbott says

Reporter roundtable

WFAA anchor Jason Whitely, The Texas Tribune's Ross Ramsey, Fort Worth Star-Telegram columnist Bud Kennedy and WFAA political producer Berna Dean Steptoe discuss this week's top stories. 

Abbott has watered down his stay-at-home orders saying that no one can be fined or jailed for violating them. A lot of people are now asking -- well what's the point of having them? What kind of precedent will this have for years to come?

RELATED: Dallas salon owner released from jail after order from Supreme Court of Texas

A Dallas Morning News/University of Texas at Tyler presidential poll was recently released that showed presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden tied with President Donald Trump in Texas at 43%. 

Three polls in the last few months show Biden either tied with Trump in Texas – or within the margin of error. 

Is Trump losing Texas independents?

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