The legal wrangling surrounding Owosso barber Karl Manke seems to have more twists and turns than an extreme mountain bike course. There’s little question the 77-year-old barber Manke will be back at work this morning. Now he has the protection of the State Supreme Court in his battle with Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer over her shutdown orders.

The latest turn involves no less than a unanimous decision from the Supreme Court. All 7 Justices are voting to vacate a recent ruling from the State Court of Appeals. The lower court had overruled a Shiawassee County Circuit Court Judge who refused a requested closing order against Manke from the state.

The biggest problem, the Court of Appeals, by law, cannot issue that type of ruling unless it has a 3-0 vote. Only the two liberal Judges on the court voted that way. A more conservative Judge voted the opposite. And he was vehement in pointing out the illegality in his dissenting comments. At this point, there is no legal barrier to Manke continuing to operate. But he has anyway. Supreme Court Justice David Viviano wrote a scathing rebuke of the Appeals Court Judges, saying, "It is incumbent on the courts to ensure decisions are made according to the rule of law, not hysteria." Justice Viviano continued,  "One hopes that this great principle, essential to any free society, including ours, will not itself become yet another casualty of COVID-19." Mr. Manke’s attorney, David A. Kallman, says, “I am gratified that the Supreme Court was not swayed by speculation and hyperbole. I applaud the Court for its continued commitment to adhere to the Rule of Law. This is a great day in Michigan for the protection of everyone’s constitutional rights.”

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