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Judge Won’t Shut Down Owosso Barber Over ‘Theoretical’ Threat

Asks why barber wasn’t arrested if threat was real

A judge refused to shut down the Owosso barber who defied Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's stay-at-home order.

Shiawassee County Circuit Judge Matthew Stewart said on May 21 that the state’s argument that barber Karl Manke was a public health threat “must be actual and not theoretical,” according to The Detroit News.

The judge also challenged a state Attorney General lawyer in court by asking, if Manke was a threat to public health why was he not arrested?

On May 16, Attorney General Dana Nessel said in an interview that putting Manke in jail was a “very, very last resort.”

On Monday, May 4, Manke defied the state order and opened his barber shop.

On May 3, Shiawassee County reported having 184 cases of coronavirus and 12 deaths, the day before Manke reopened, according to the Argus Press. Shiawassee County had 246 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 21 deaths as of May 20, according to the state.

Shiawassee County has a population of 68,122.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.