Michigan Barber Ordered To Close Wins Big In Court, Has Preliminary Injunction Vacated

AP Photo/Paul Sancya
AP featured image
Barber Karl Manke, of Owosso, gives a free haircut to Parker Shonts on the steps of the State Capitol during a rally in Lansing, Mich., Wednesday, May 20, 2020. from the new coronavirus COVID-19. Barbers and hair stylists are protesting the state’s stay-at-home orders, a defiant demonstration that reflects how salons have become a symbol for small businesses that are eager to reopen two months after the COVID-19 pandemic began. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Remember when our biggest outrage was a barber in Michigan being fined and harassed by the state for opening his business?

Good times.

Flouting Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s executive order keeping salons and barber shops closed, Karl Manke opened his barbershop at the beginning of May, but was quickly ordered to close. Manke appealed the decision in court and was eventually ordered once again to shut down while the case weaved through the court system. On Friday the 77-year-old barber got some very welcome news. From Mlive-The Flint Journal:

A Friday, June 5 order by the Michigan State Court ruled to vacate the Court of Appeals decision that ordered Shiawassee County Circuit Court Judge Matthew A. Stewart to issue a preliminary injunction to shut down Manke’s shop.

The case has been remanded to the Court of Appeals for additional consideration.

Justice David F. Viviano said in the order that courts are obligated to make render decisions “according to the rule of law, not hysteria” and suggested that the original order was “highly suspect” in the first place.

“Here, in addition to entering an order whose validity is highly suspect, the Court of Appeals majority took the extraordinary step of directing the trial court to take immediate action despite the fact that an application for leave had already been filed in our Court,” said Viviano.

David A. Kallman, Manke’s attorney, said they are “ecstatic” about the order.

“We feel our legal arguments have been vindicated by the court’s ruling,” he told MLive-The Flint Journal Friday evening. “This has a big impact on the hearing that was set for next Thursday.”



But of course, this is 2020 and Gretchen Whitmer is the governor of Michigan. Not content to vengefully stick it to the barbers of Michigan by allowing salons to open but not barbershops, the state Attorney General filed a contempt of court motion after he defied the original ruling from the Court of Appeals.

Manke’s lawyer calls the move “vindictive” but says Friday’s ruling bears well for their upcoming trial. One consideration the court will be making is if the original executive order is invalid since Michigan barbershops have now been officially cleared to open on June 15.

MLive-The Flint Journal says they reached out to the state Attorney General but had received no comment as of Friday evening.


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