News Story

Supreme Court Justice on Owosso Barber: 'Decisions Made According To The Rule of Law, Not Hysteria'

The Michigan Supreme Court ruled 7-0 on June 5 in favor of Owosso barber Karl Manke who had defied Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's executive order shutdown and kept his business open.

The Court of Appeals now has to reconsider the case. Manke has no judicial impediment to continuing to stay open. The case will likely become moot once barbers are allowed to open on June 15.

In effect, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that two Court of Appeals judges Amy Krause and Stephen Borrello, both appointed by former Gov. Jennifer Granholm, violated court procedure. The violation occurred when the Court of Appeals reversed a trial court decision not to shutdown Manke by a 2-1 vote. However, the law requires the Court of Appeals needed the vote to be unanimous. Judge Brock Swartzle, appointed by former Gov. Rick Snyder, was the dissenting vote on the Court of Appeals.

Michigan Supreme Court Justice David Viviano said in an extraordinary rebuke in a concurring opinion, "It is incumbent on the courts to ensure decisions are made according to the rule of law, not hysteria."

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."


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.