DEARBORN, Mich., June 24, 2022 — This week, the United States Supreme Court issued opinions that will have dramatic implications for Michiganders. State Rep. Jeffrey Pepper (D-Dearborn) issued the following statements in response to those decisions.
On the ruling that shields law enforcement officers from paying monetary damages for failing to advise suspects of their rights before obtaining statements later used against them in court:
“As a lawyer, I am appalled that the Supreme Court of the United States — a nation that prides itself on protecting its citizens — would leave almost no remedy for citizens to pursue after the violation of their Miranda rights. This decision seriously endangers underserved populations in our community who may not be aware of these rights, and it allows law enforcement to take advantage of them in the interrogation process. This casts a very dark cloud over our institutions of criminal justice and democracy.”
On the ruling that struck down a New York gun-control law that required people to show “proper cause” to get a license to carry a concealed handgun outside the home:
“As our state and country faces a growing gun violence epidemic, the United States Supreme Court foolhardily upended a 100-year legal precedent and stripped away a critical tool that states have used to curb violence that is plaguing our communities. My colleagues and I are working diligently to maintain the gun safety protections we have in place and continue to develop policy in the interest of our public safety.”
On the ruling to overturn the constitutional right to an abortion, ending almost 50 years of legal precedent:
“The irony is not lost on me that the Supreme Court now passes authority onto states to determine citizens’ autonomy over their health in the name of empowering ‘smaller government.’ Yesterday, the Supreme Court decided that the right to carry a gun is so important that it cannot be left to the states — but the right of a woman to make her own health decisions during pregnancy, which carries several very serious morbidity and mortality risks, is so non-essential that its existence can be left up to the interests and interpretation of non-medical professionals.
“This is just one in a long procession of recent Supreme Court decisions that will have enormous consequences for the public health, economy and civil rights of our communities. This new legal precedent endangers all the progress we have made as a society over the last century in favor of special interests, religious tyranny and outright fascism. It endangers access to comprehensive healthcare, contraception, equal marriage rights, and every other fundamental aspect of our democracy that was not enshrined by our slave-owning, rich, white founding fathers. We are dutifully bound to move our flawed nation toward a more perfect union, and this decision recklessly unravels those efforts.
“While many questions remain unanswered, I want my constituents to know that access to abortion is STILL LEGAL in Michigan as our governor, ACLU and Planned Parenthood of Michigan take this to the courts. This fight is not over.”