As for the ruling, Judge Moye rightly ensured that the rule of law prevailed even under the emergency circumstances and enormous challenges of the pandemic. The orders issued by Judge Jenkins and Gov. Abbott have caused pain to everyone. But those orders are and remain the law.

As Judge Moye rightly noted, if any citizen or business could violate those orders, or for that matter, any law as they saw fit, then no rule of law would exist and anarchy would prevail. Businesses might feel free to ignore health codes while individuals might ignore safety laws they don’t like because the laws are inconvenient or cause them pain. This must never be the case. While people may disagree on the best approach for handling the pandemic, we all agree, as Judge Moye held, that the rule of law must endure.

It’s never joyful to see people punished or sent to jail. But open defiance of the law is never an option for any citizen. Refusing to agree to follow the law during a court proceeding is not something any judge or court can allow. No person is exempt from this principle. Like all of us, Luther does not have the right to simply ignore the law.