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It's pure retribution

  • Michigan suspends license of elderly barber who vowed to keep his shop open until 'Jesus comes'

    Michigan state regulators have suspended the license of 77-year-old barber Karl Manke, after he reopened his shop in defiance of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's (D) stay-at-home orders.

    Manke had previously vowed to keep his business open until "Jesus comes," and his attorney says the state's actions are out of "pure retribution."

    What are the details?

    Last week, Manke reopened his shop in Owosso in violation of the governor's ongoing coronavirus shutdown, despite his fears of being arrested or losing his license.

    The elderly barber has since received at least two citations, but he has a lot of defenders. Michigan militia members promised to guard him from arrest and a Shiawassee County Circuit Court judge refused to sign a temporary restraining order against him without first holding a hearing.

    So, on Wednesday, state regulators suspended his license, according to the Associated Press, with Attorney General Dana Nessel (D) arguing that "It is paramount that we take action to protect the public and do our part to help save lives."

    Manke's attorney, Dave Kallman, said of the action, "It's pure retribution. It's abuse of power: 'How dare you stand up to me?'"

    It's unclear whether Manke will pay any attention to the temporary revocation of his license. The AP reported that "a woman who answered the phone at his shop said Manke hadn't been served with the suspension and was still cutting hair" and that "a clipper could be heard buzzing in the background."

    The Hill reported that Gov. Whitmer "recently extended her order closing hair salons and barbershops, which was set to expire May 15, through at least May 28."

    Manke said of the extension: "[It] knocked me to my knees."

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