Elderly Michigan Barber Ordered to Close Enjoys Major Court Victory

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Last month, we brought you the story of an elderly Michigan barber who faced off with the Whitmer administration over the state’s far-reaching lockdown measures amid the coronavirus pandemic.

After Karl Manke opened his barbershop in defiance of Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s (D) order keeping such businesses closed, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel sought a temporary restraining order against Manke on the administration’s behalf.

Manke had appealed the move in court but was eventually ordered to shut down once again as the case moved forward.

On Friday, however, the 77-year-old small business owner got some very good news.

The Mlive-The Flint Journal reported:

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 his order that courts must make decisions “according to the rule of law, not hysteria” suggesting that the original order was, in fact, “highly suspect.”

“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.”

Meanwhile, while Whitmer was unequivocally opposed to the protests that broke out on Manke and other’s behalf last month, she seemed to violate her own lockdown order to march with anti-police brutality protesters this week.

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