State Watch

Michigan suspends license of barber who vowed to keep his shop open ‘until Jesus comes’

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Michigan officials have suspended the license of a barber in the town of Owosso who said he would not close his doors “until Jesus comes” despite the state’s stay at home order amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

After a judge declined a state request to shut down Karl Manke’s shop Monday without a hearing, Lansing officials suspended his shop license and barber’s license, The Associated Press reported.

“It is paramount that we take action to protect the public and do our part to help save lives,” Attorney General Dana Nessel (D) said.

Manke’s attorney Dave Kallman called the move “pure retribution.”

“It’s abuse of power: ‘How dare you stand up to me?’” he said.

Under state law, Manke can ask for an immediate hearing at the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs with an administrative law judge, according to the AP.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) recently extended her order closing hair salons and barber shops, which was set to expire May 15, through at least May 28. Manke told the AP the extension “knocked me to my knees,” and re-opened his shop on May 4.

“The government is not my mother, never has been,” Manke said Monday, according to the AP. “I’ve been in business longer than they’ve been alive.”

Last week, Texas’ Supreme Court ordered a Dallas-area hair salon owner released from jail after she was detained for opening her business in defiance of a county-level closure order. Numerous Texas Republicans rallied to her side, including Gov. Greg Abbott, Rep. Dan Crenshaw and Sen. Ted Cruz, who flew to Dallas for a haircut at the salon.

Tags Coronavirus Dan Crenshaw Stay at home order Ted Cruz
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