Story at a glance

  • Karl Manke of Owosso, Mich., opened his shop May 4 despite the state’s stay-at-home order.
  • He said he has no plans to shut his doors.
  • The state’s stay-at-home order was extended through June 12.

A Michigan barber who refused to close his shop in defiance of the state’s coronavirus stay-at-home order has been ordered to shut his doors by the state’s appeals court, according to the Associated Press (AP).

The Michigan appeals court Thursday overturned a previous ruling by a Shiawassee County judge denying a request for a temporary restraining order from the state’s attorney general that would have resulted in the barbershop’s immediate closure. 


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Karl Manke, 77, told the AP he got the news while he was giving a client a haircut, and says he has no plans to close up. 


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“If they want to put me in jail, put me in jail..I will be governed — fair governing — but not ruled. This is a police state action,” Manke said, according to the AP. 

The Owosso barber’s attorney said his client plans to appeal the case to the Michigan Supreme Court. 

Manke opened his shop on May 4 in opposition to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s (D) executive order mandating nonessential businesses close in order to limit the spread of the coronavirus. He said he reopened because he needed money, claiming the unemployment he received was not enough, according to The Detroit News

Last week, during a protest at the state capitol, Manke gave free haircuts to demonstrators. He has been ticketed for violating orders, as well as had his licenses suspended. 

Michigan has been the site of many recent demonstrations following Whitmer’s executive order. Protests earlier this month garnered widespread attention after armed demonstrators entered the statehouse. 

The state’s stay-at-home order has been extended through June 12.

Last week, however, Whitmer began easing some restrictions, allowing social gatherings of 10 people or fewer and permitting retail businesses to reopen to customers for appointment-only shopping. Whitmer said further measures intended to ease restrictions could be forthcoming as warranted by data on the coronavirus.


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Published on May 28, 2020