Karl the Barber Wins!

The Michigan Supreme Court, in a 7-0 decision, vacated the order of the Court of Appeals, removing the court order for the 77 year old barber Karl Manke from Owosso, MI, to cease and desist from cutting hair. The Michigan Supreme Court remanded the case back to the Court of Appeals for plenary consideration.

Supreme Court Justice J. Viviano issued the following concurring comments:

“The majority [of the Court of Appeals] decided the important constitutional issues of first impression raised by defendant without plenary consideration, full briefing, oral argument, or an opportunity for amici curiae to file briefs.”

“It is incumbent on the courts to ensure decisions are made according to the rule of law, not hysteria.”

“Courts decide legal questions that arise in the cases that come before us according to the rule of law. One hope’s that this great principle- essential to any free society, including ours – will not itself become yet another casualty of COVID-19.

“Here, in addition to entering an order whose validity is highly suspect, the Court of Appeals majority took the extraordinary step of directing the trial court to take immediate action despite the fact that an application for leave had already been filed in our Court.”

“Finally, the Court of Appeals should address whether plaintiff’s motion for a preliminary injunction is rendered moot now that the Governor has ordered that barbershops can open statewide on June 15.”

The 77 year old barber Karl Manke has continued to cut hair since opening up his barbershop on May 4, despite the Governor Whitmer’s efforts to issue citations, issue cease and desist order, hold him in contempt of court, and suspending his license.

Michigan has been the last to open up barbershops after Governor Whitmer has closed them for nearly 3 months. Meanwhile, barbershops have been open in many other states since the end of April, without seeing an alarming spike in new cases.