Home News Michigan Judge Sides With Barber In Key Case Says He Can Reopen Despite Lockdown Order

Michigan Judge Sides With Barber In Key Case Says He Can Reopen Despite Lockdown Order

by J.C McCallum

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer just suffered a major loss in her fight to keep her state on lockdown.

A state judge sided with barbershop owner Karl Manke, 77, who has been defying Whitmer’s ‘stay-at-home’ order to keep his business from going bankrupt.

Shiawassee County Circuit Court Judge Matthew Stewart overruled Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and denied her demand that he order Manke to close his shop.

From The Washington Examiner:

Michigan Court of Appeals Judge Stephen Borrello had ordered Stewart to hold a hearing on the temporary restraining order and issue his decision by end of business hours on Thursday.

Michigan Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun had argued in an affidavit that Manke’s shop was a threat to public health, but Stewart said not enough evidence was shown to prove that.

“The attorney general has not presented any studies underlying the doctor’s conclusion,” Stewart wrote in his opinion. “The attorney general has not shown any nexus between the cutting of hair and an increased risk of transmission. The attorney general’s filings rest more on general facts about COVID-19 than specific practices or conditions at Manke’s business.”

Manke has become one of the most recognizable faces of the anti-lockdown movement in Michigan and was one of 12 barbers to show up at an event Wednesday to cut hair for roughly 400 people who have been urging Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for weeks to ease lockdown restrictions.

Nessel said she plans to appeal the judge’s decision.

Nessel personally attacked Manke last week, questioning his motives for wanting to open his barbershop.

“Mr. Manke, he’s not a hero to me,” Nessel said. “He’s not a patriot. A patriot is a person that fights all enemies, foreign and domestic, and does everything possible to protect his fellow countrymen and countrywomen. And, to me, Mr. Manke is doing just the opposite of that, and he’s being selfish in his behavior in that what he’s doing is allowing the virus to spread.”

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