GOP Senator Beats Quick Retreat After Saying Interracial Marriage Should Be Left To States

UNITED STATES - MARCH 15: Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind., attends the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee markup on the PREVENT Pandemics Act in Dirksen Building on Tuesday, March 15, 2022. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - MARCH 15: Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind., attends the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee markup on the PREVENT Pandemics Act in Dirksen Building on Tuesday, March 15, 2022. (Tom Williams/... UNITED STATES - MARCH 15: Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind., attends the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee markup on the PREVENT Pandemics Act in Dirksen Building on Tuesday, March 15, 2022. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images) MORE LESS

Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN) on Tuesday said he believes the Supreme Court should have left the issue of interracial marriage up to states — before quickly issuing a statement claiming that he misunderstood the question.

During a conference call with Indiana reporters on Tuesday, Braun discussed how he would evaluate Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson as she undergoes confirmation hearings with the Senate Judiciary Committee. Braun said that he did not want a justice who is an “activist,” citing Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that found abortion to be a constitutionally protected right.

After Braun argued that the Supreme Court shouldn’t “homogenize” issues nationwide, a reporter on the call asked whether Braun would be okay with the Supreme Court leaving the issue of interracial marriage up to the states.

“Yes, I think that’s something ― if you’re not wanting the Supreme Court to weigh in on issues like that, you’re not going to be able to have your cake and eat it too. I think that’s hypocritical,” Braun said.

When the same reporter tried to interject by asking Braun about the case of Griswold v. Connecticut, which established a right to privacy concerning contraceptive use, Braun continued arguing that a “whole host of issues” should have been left to the states.

“When it comes down to whatever they are, I’m going to say they’re not going to all make you happy within a given state,” Braun said. “But we’re better off having states manifest their points of view, rather than homogenizing it across the country as Roe v. Wade did.”

Shortly after a video clip of Braun’s comments circulated on social media and drew backlash, the GOP senator issued a statement, saying that he “misunderstood” the question.

“Earlier during a virtual press conference I misunderstood a line of questioning that ended up being about interracial marriage, 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 said in a statement.

Watch Braun’s remarks below:

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