77-Year-Old Barber Wins Again: Whitmer Caves on Attempt to Strip License

Barber Karl Manke, of Owosso, gives a free haircut on the steps of the State Capitol during a rally in Lansing, Mich., Wednesday, May 20, 2020. Barbers and hair stylists are protesting the state's stay-at-home orders, a defiant demonstration that reflects how salons have become a symbol for small businesses …
AP Photo/Paul Sancya

Michigan barber Karl Manke scored another victory on Wednesday when the Gretchen Whitmer administration gave up in its quest to prevent him from working.

The 77-year-old Owosso barber has repeatedly defeated Gov. Whitmer and Attorney General Dana Nessel in court, and now he has been handed his operating license back.

Manke continued to operate his barbershop despite the lockdown and legal threats from Whitmer and Nessel.

WLNS reported both of Manke’s licenses were restored on Wednesday “by an agency order dismissing the summary suspensions orders issued against him.”

“I am pleased with the orders issued today to reinstate my licenses so I can continue to move forward,” Manke said, according to the news station.

“I still believe it is high time for all of Michigan to Stand Up, Open Up for business, and for all the people in our community to Show Up in support.”

In early June, the Michigan Supreme Court unanimously ruled that Whitmer could not fine Manke or take his license.

A Michigan Court of Appeals upheld that Manke’s license suspension was valid, but the Supreme Court decision reversed that.

Manke was defiant after the Appeals Court ruling and told WILX, “I’m still open, still working until they cut my hands off.”

Breitbart News caught up with Manke during the recent “Operation Haircut” protest.

Kyle Olson

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 he said Whitmer made him one.

He thanked God for the development.

“I’m still standing up. I still have that courage,” Manke said.

Manke’s full speech at the protest was aired on The Kyle Olson Show:

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.


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