News & Politics

Rebel Barber Vindicated by Michigan Judge and Local Sheriff

FILE -- In this March 18, 2019, file photo, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer listens to Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., in Clawson, Mich. Whitmer has ordered a review of Michigan auto insurers' use of non-driving factors to set premiums and their pricing of policies that coordinate medical coverage with drivers' health insurance. The Democrat's move Wednesday comes as Republican lawmakers prepare to soon unveil legislation designed to reduce what on average are the country's highest car insurance rates. Whitmer says the state must take a "hard look" at how insurers set rates to ensure their practices are lawful. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

Owosso, Mich., smalltown barber Karl Manke, who defied Governor Whitmer’s orders to stay closed, got good news on Monday when a judge ruled against the state’s request for a restraining order against the shop owner and the local sheriff announced he would not be enforcing the order to shut down the shop.

In a standoff that led to militia blocking the entrance of the barbershop to keep police out, this news is welcome to all who wished for a peaceful and civil solution. Instead of hauling the barber to jail, the state will have to wait to make their argument in front of a judge.

“Certain businesses are favored, they can open. Other businesses are unfavored, they stay shut and their businesses get destroyed. That’s what we’re fighting in this case,” Manke’s lawyer David Kallman stated in a press conference on Monday.

Last week, the Owosso Police Department gave Manke two citations from the Department of Health demanding that he shut his doors. Manke refused and says he will continue to refuse. Sheriff Brian BeGole also issued a statement Monday saying he would not enforce the Attorney General’s order to shut down the shop. “With limited resources, staffing and facilities, our priority focus will be on enforcing duly passed laws for the protection of Shiawassee County citizens,” BeGole wrote. “I have decided, within my authority, that our office cannot and will not divert our primary resources and efforts towards enforcement of Governor Whitmer’s executive orders.” Manke still faces two counts of misdemeanor charges and fines over $1000.

Megan Fox is the author of “Believe Evidence; The Death of Due Process from Salome to #MeToo,” and host of The Fringe podcast. Follow on Twitter @MeganFoxWriter

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