Michigan Barber files appeal against fines received during protests against pandemic orders

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FILE – In this May 6, 2020 file photo, an Owosso police officer asks to talk with Karl Manke outside before ticketing Manke for being open at Karl’s barber shopv in Owosso, Mich. The Michigan barber who defied Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and reopened his shop last spring during the coronavirus pandemic was fined $9,000 for violating licensing rules. (Nick King /Lansing State Journal via AP)

SHIAWASSEE COUNTY, Mich. (WLNS)— A Michigan barber who was outspoken against Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s pandemic orders, is filing an appeal in Shiawassee County, challenging the $9,000.00 in administrative fines levied against himself and his barbershop.

77-year-old Karl Manke reopened his shop in early May, despite orders closing shops through June 15th. Manke claimed that the government was quote “government is not my mother.”

Manke was facing misdemeanor charges for defining the order, but those were dropped in October. His Attorney David Kallman says the Shiawassee County prosecutor dropped the case because of the Michigan Supreme Court decision, which said the governor exceeded her powers while responding to the pandemic.

According to Kallman, Manke was fined $1,500.00 twice (once against him personally and once against his barbershop) accused of violating the barber code, including having a comb in his pocket. He was also fined $3,000.00 twice for his participation in Operation Haircut, the protest against Governor Whitmer’s Executive Orders closing businesses across the state.

“I am happy that we are finally in a court that can rule on, and uphold my constitutional rights. I am not a health threat to anyone, and my barbershop has not been a source of the spread of this virus. I just want to safely earn a living and have my rights respected,” said Manke “The Courts have consistently upheld my constitutional rights affirming that the Governor’s attempts to shut me down were out of line, and I trust we will prevail in court once again.”

Mr. Manke’s attorney, David A. Kallman, stated, “We are pleased to have another opportunity to defend Karl in court and have his constitutional rights vindicated one more time. He is not a threat to the public’s health, safety, or welfare. We trust the court will uphold the rule of law and restore the faith of Michigan citizens that our legal system still operates in a fair and just manner.”

View the full challenge here.

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