Tags: Coronavirus | Law Enforcement | michigan | barber | shutdowns | pandemic | lawsuit

Michigan's Top Court Tosses Orders Against Defiant Barber

a michigan coronavirus graphic
(Alexey Novikov/Dreamstime)

By    |   Friday, 05 June 2020 09:20 PM

The Michigan Supreme Court has overturned orders that directed a 77-year-old barber to shutter his shop during the coronavirus pandemic, with one justice saying judges need to follow the "rule of law, not hysteria."

The Michigan appeals court made mistakes in telling a local judge to shut down Karl Manke's shop in Owosso, 40 miles northeast of Lansing, the Supreme Court said.

Manke stopped complying May 4 with Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's order to keep barbershops and salons closed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. In response, the state suspended his licenses. It also got a preliminary injunction from the appeals court.

But Manke defiantly kept cutting hair, telling WILX, "I'm still open, still working until they cut my hands off."

He even gave free haircuts during a protest in Lansing on May 20.

Justice David Viviano said the 2-1 injunction against the plucky barber needed to be unanimous under Michigan court rules. In addition, he said there should have been a full briefing and oral arguments.

"It is incumbent on the courts to ensure decisions are made according to the rule of law, not hysteria," Viviano said. "One hopes that this great principle — essential to any free society, including ours — will not itself become yet another casualty of COVID-19."

Manke's lawyer declared, "We're thrilled."

Whitmer announced Friday barbershops and salons can reopen June 15.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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The Michigan Supreme Court has overturned orders that directed a 77-year-old barber to shutter his shop during the coronavirus pandemic, with one justice saying judges need to follow the "rule of law, not hysteria."
michigan, barber, shutdowns, pandemic, lawsuit, covid-19
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2020-20-05
Friday, 05 June 2020 09:20 PM
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