Michigan Supreme Court Unanimously Sides with 77-Year-Old Barber over Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

Posted 33 days ago


Lansing — The Michigan Supreme canceled Friday a lower court's order that demanded Karl Manke immediately close his Owosso barbershop and sent Manke's case back to the state Court of Appeals for further consideration.

The decision by the state's high court came with only a concurring opinion written by Justice David Viviano in which he questioned initial handling of the case by a three-judge appeals court panel.

"Courts decide legal questions that arise in the cases that come before us according to the rule of law," Viviano wrote. "One hopes that this great principle — essential to any free society, including ours — will not itself become yet another casualty of COVID-19."

On May 28, the Court of Appeals ruled in a 2-1 decision that Manke, who had continued cutting hair in defiance of restrictions from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's administration to stem the spread of COVID-19, had to cease his operations.

The next day, the court's two-judge majority ordered a Shiawassee County circuit court judge to tell Manke to close his business. Shiawassee County Circuit Judge Matthew Stewart issued an order May 29, saying t... (Read more)