After the Michigan Supreme Court ruled last week that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer did not have the authority to extend her coronavirus lockdown beyond the date of April 30th, prosecutors had little choice but to void charges against an Owosso barber who famously violated the orders to open his business back up on May 4th. State prosecutors announced Friday that they would no longer seek to bring misdemeanor charges against Karl Manke, putting an end to his highly-publicized ordeal.
“Our client is thrilled and pleased that he has been vindicated,” said Manke’s attorney, David Kallman.
In his own remarks, Manke said, “I appreciate the Prosecutor dismissing all criminal charges against me in light of the Supreme Court’s decision. It is definitely a weight off my shoulders. I just want to earn a living, and I am not a health threat to anyone. The Courts have consistently upheld my constitutional rights affirming that the Governor’s attempts to shut me down were out of line.”
The case against a barber trying to eke out a living was yet another black mark in a string of them for Gov. Whitmer, who has been accused of using the pandemic to give herself virtually unlimited powers over the citizenry of Michigan. Her power grab ran into a stiff legal wall last week when the Michigan Supreme Court ruled 4-3 that she had exceeded her limitations.
“We conclude that the Governor lacked the authority to declare a ‘state of emergency’ or a ‘state of disaster’ under the [1976 Emergency Management Act] after April 30, 2020, on the basis of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the court ruled. “Furthermore, we conclude that the [1945 Emergency Powers of the Governor Act] is in violation of the Constitution of our state because it purports to delegate to the executive branch the legislative powers of state government – including its plenary police powers – and to allow the exercise of such powers indefinitely. As a consequence, the EPGA cannot continue to provide a basis for the Governor to exercise emergency powers.”
Whitmer whined impotently after the ruling came out, insisting wrongly that the court’s ruling would leave Michigan uniquely exposed to another COVID outbreak.
“Today’s Supreme Court ruling, handed down by a narrow majority of Republican justices, is deeply disappointing, and I vehemently disagree with the court’s interpretation of the Michigan Constitution,” Whitmer said. “Right now, every state and the federal government have some form of declared emergency. With this decision, Michigan will become the sole outlier at a time when the Upper Peninsula is experiencing rates of COVID infection not seen in our state since April.”
More recently, Whitmer has come under fire for a “Meet the Press” interview in which an “8645” sign was seen in the background of her office. Critics say that the sign could be read as a call for President Trump’s assassination.