Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) got a win in court against 77-year-old barber Karl Manke on Thursday, but he vowed to continue operating his business she deemed “nonessential.”
The Michigan Court of Appeals upheld Manke’s license suspension and ruled 2-1 that the state has the authority to close his shop.
“I am astonished at this ruling,” Manke attorney David Kallman told Great Lakes News.
“This is a blatant violation of the law. We’re filing an immediate appeal with the Michigan Supreme Court. You cannot summarily reverse a lower court’s ruling without it being unanimous. This decision was 2-1.”
Manke was defiant after the ruling and told WILX, “I’m still open, still working until they cut my hands off.”
The state’s chief medical officer and a top Whitmer adviser, Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, testified Wednesday that Manke’s shop is “an imminent threat to public health.”
The lower judge disputed that notion when he noted Manke was not arrested by the state.
Breitbart News talked to Manke during the “Operation Haircut” protest at the state capitol last week.Kyle Olson / Breitbart News
He said the response during the protest and the support for his stand was “overwhelming,” and called himself “a Michigan small town barber that just wants to work.”
“This is an oppressive move on this governor’s part,” Manke said, observing that it “reflects almost a police state.”
“I refuse to stand down on this,” he said.
“I wasn’t this rock star three weeks ago,” Manke told Breitbart News, but Whitmer made him one.
He thanked God for the development.
“I’m still standing up. I still have that courage,” Manke said.
Kyle Olson is a reporter for Breitbart News. He is also host of “The Kyle Olson Show,” syndicated on Michigan radio stations on Saturdays. Listen to segments on YouTube. Follow him on Twitter and like him on Facebook.