A Michigan judge has denied a motion made by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration that an Owosso barber close up shop during the coronavirus outbreak.
Great Lakes News was outside Karl Manke’s Barber & Beauty Shop on Monday when the ruling came down.
Reporter Katie Heid said the judge denied the state’s claim that the 77-year-old Manke to close his shop because he was allegedly in violation of Whitmer’s stay-at-home order.
“This is not only a big victory for Mr. Manke, but also for other small businesses,” she said.
“Who else will open their doors?”
The state Attorney General lost in its effort to obtain a temporary restraining order, NBC 25 reported.
The AG said:
The Attorney General’s court action, filed on behalf of MDHHS, seeks to enforce the MDHHS Director’s Public Health Order that deemed Mr. Manke’s business an imminent danger to public health in light of the COVID 19 pandemic and directs him to immediately cease operations at his barbershop. The State is seeking to schedule a hearing as soon as possible.
The AG asserted Manke’s open business presents “clear public health dangers”.
Manke told ABC 12 he reopened after unemployment benefits were denied three times.
The barber had been repeatedly fined for allegedly violating the shutdown orders, but supporters paid the fines.
“I just couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t do that,” Manke told radio host Steve Gruber about continuing to operate his business.
“I don’t care really if I have to spend all of the money I’m making right now to pay my fine. It’s worth it,” he said.
He said he will only leave “if they drag me out in the street or Jesus comes.”
Manke said he has fielded several calls from other barbers about what to do.
“You have to have courage,” he said.