Senator condemns racism after criticizing SCOTUS ruling that legalized interracial marriage

Mike Braun's original statements were denounced by Indiana’s Democrats, who called them "beneath any respectable person wishing to hold public office."

Republican Indiana Senator Mike Braun has strong feelings about states’ rights. In a call with reporters following Day Two of the Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, Braun argued that issues such as abortion — and even interracial marriage — should be left to states to decide.

However, Braun later walked back part of his remarks.

Indiana Sen. Mike Braun prepares to give a TV interview after attending a luncheon with other Senate Republicans on Capitol Hill. (Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

“Let me be clear on that issue — there is no question the Constitution prohibits discrimination of any kind based on race, that is not something that is even up for debate, and I condemn racism in any form, at all levels and by any states, entities or individuals,” Braun later said, per NWITimes.

In his original comments, Braun said that Supreme Court justices shouldn’t “legislate from the bench,” adding that the Court shouldn’t “homogenize” issues nationwide. When asked specifically if those issues extended to interracial marriage via the Loving v. Virginia case — which was decided by the Supreme Court — he responded, “This should be something where the expression of individual states are able to weigh-in on these issues through their own legislation, through their own court systems. Quit trying to put the federal government in charge.”

When pressed, asked if the notion of interracial marriage being left up to the states meant that many marriages could be recognized by one state and not another, Braun noted that is the “beauty of the system.”

His original statements were condemned by the state’s Democrats, who called them “beneath any respectable person wishing to hold public office.”

Asked if he plans to support Judge Jackson’s historic confirmation to the Supreme Court, Braun said that he does believe there will be some Republicans who will support her.

As for himself, he noted, “She seems well-qualified. But whenever I vote for a Supreme Court justice, it’s going to be, basically, how are you going to interpret the law. If your record shows that you’re going to be kind of an activist there, I don’t think that’s good, and I don’t think the Founders intended it that way.”

Day Three of Judge Jackson’s confirmation hearings continues today.

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