Michigan judge rules in favor of barber, allows him to stay open despite lockdown

by Jordyn Pair · May 22nd, 2020 3:02 pm

A Michigan judge has ruled that the Owosso barber who opened his business in defiance of the state's lockdown order will not have to close.

Karl Manke, 77, originally opened his barbershop on May 4, despite incurring a license suspension, a cease-and-desist order, and a temporary restraining order from the state.

Shiawassee County Circuit Court Judge Matthew Stewart ruled on Thursday that Manke can continue to stay open, refusing to grant a request from attorney general to force the barber's closure of his shop.

Stewart ruled that there was not enough evidence to support a claim from Michigan Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun that Manke's shop was a threat to public health.

"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."

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said she plans to appeal the judge's decision.


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