All charges have been dropped against the Michigan barber who made headlines earlier this year for defying the strict coronavirus lockdown orders of Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer.
“Our client’s thrilled and pleased that he’s been vindicated,”David Kallman, an attorney representing 77 year-old barber Karl Manke, told the Lansing State Journal.
Manke made national headlines back in March, when he defied Whitmer by reopening his barber shop in Owosso. At the time, he argued that the state had no right to take away his livelihood as he also pledged to keep his business open “til Jesus comes.”
“I feel the governor is not my mother, never has been,” Manke told reporters at the time. “As a matter of fact, this administration, for the most part, I’ve been in business longer than they’ve been alive.”
The state fired back by trying to prosecute Manke for daring to defy Whitmer, issuing a cease and desist order, filing two misdemeanor charges against him, and suspending his license. This directly led to an outpouring of support for Manke from Americans all over the country who felt that COVID-19 lockdown measures had gone too far.
All charges against Manke were dropped after the Michigan Supreme Court ruled earlier this month that Whitmer’s lockdown orders were unconstitutional. The court stated that her lockdown measures were an “unlawful delegation of legislative power to the executive branch in violation of the Michigan Constitution.”
“Based on that ruling, we didn’t feel the charges could go forward,” said prosecutor Scott Koerner.
Manke was quick to celebrate the charges being dropped.
“It is definitely a weight off my shoulders,” he said. “I just want to earn a living, and I am not a health threat to anyone.”
Manke’s lawyer said that a complaint against the barber’s license is still pending at this time, and he has asked Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel to dismiss that as well.