(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Indiana Senator Mike Braun is walking back comments in which he suggested the Supreme Court ruling striking down bans on interracial marriage is an example of judicial overreach.
In a conference call with reporters, Braun (R) said he hasn’t made a final decision on how he’ll vote on Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson, but warned he’ll oppose any “activist” nominee. Asked by a reporter if his concern about activism extended to the 1967 decision on interracial marriage, Braun affirmed it did.
“Within our federal system, there are going to be rules and proceedings that are going to be out of sync with maybe what other states would do,” Braun says. “That’s where the differences among points of view in our 50 states ought to express themselves….It’s hard to have [judicial intervention] on issues that you just are interested in, when you deny it for others with a different point of view.
“They’re not all going to make you happy within a given state, but we’re better off having states manifest their points of view, rather than homogenizing it across the country as Roe v. Wade did.”
Braun later walked back his comments, saying he misunderstood the question, and saying, “There is no question the Constitution prohibits discrimination of any kind based on race.”
Indiana Democratic Chairman Mike Schmuhl blasted Braun’s comments as “not only un-American, but beneath any respectable person wishing to hold public office.”
“The United States Supreme Court has affirmed many times that marriage equality in our country extends to any committed couple regardless of sex, race, orientation, or religious affiliation, and to question that legitimacy questions the very fabric of America and its people,” Schmuhl said.
Regarding Jackson, Braun said the D.C. appeals judge “seems well-qualified,” but says Jackson will have to give “a pretty strong explanation” of her philosophy and past rulings.
Braun predicted all Democrats will vote for Jackson. With Vice President Kamala Harris available to cast a tiebreaking vote if needed, that’s enough to guarantee Jackson’s confirmation as the third African-American justice and first black woman on the court. And Braun says “three or four” Republicans are leaning yes.
Indiana’s senior senator, Todd Young (R), hasn’t said how he’ll vote on Jackson’s confirmation either.