Public Health

Top state court vacates order shutting down defiant barber's shop during COVID-19 crisis

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The Michigan Supreme Court vacated on Friday an appeals court decision ordering the shutdown of a barber shop that remained open despite state stay-at-home orders amid the COVID-19 crisis.

The court vacated the appeals court shutdown order and a Shiawassee County judge’s order that carried out the appeals court mandate.

The Detroit News, and Michigan Radio have coverage.

Lawyers for Owosso, Michigan, barber Karl Manke had argued that the two-judge appeals court majority did not have authority to peremptorily reverse the judge who initially refused to grant an injunction to close the barber shop. Michigan court rules require a unanimous decision of the three-judge panel, the lawyers argued.

The state supreme court did not explain its order, which sent the case back to the appeals court.

Concurring Justice David Viviano agreed with Manke that the motions panel did not have the power to act over the objections of a third judge. He also said the majority decided important constitutional issues without full briefing or oral arguments.

“It is incumbent on the courts to ensure decisions are made according to the rule of law, not hysteria,” Viviano wrote.

Viviano said those issues should be addressed on remand, along with the question of whether the case was moot given Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s decision to reopen barber shops June 15.

Hat tip to How Appealing.

See also: “Afternoon Briefs: Sen. Ted Cruz supports salon owner released from jail; LegalMatch defeats TRO bid” “Afternoon Briefs: Man who recorded Arbery video faces charges; Flynn judge asked for response”

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