Republican Sen. Mike Braun says Supreme Court was wrong to legalize interracial marriage

Interracial marriage, the Indiana Republican argued, should have been left to states

By Sophia Tesfaye

Published March 22, 2022 5:43PM (EDT)

Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN) speaks during a Senate Budget Committee hearing in the Hart Senate Office building on February 17, 2022 in Washington, DC. The committee heard testimony about Warrior Met Coal’s ongoing miner strike which has lasted since April 2021 over demands for better pay and benefits. (Photo by (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN) speaks during a Senate Budget Committee hearing in the Hart Senate Office building on February 17, 2022 in Washington, DC. The committee heard testimony about Warrior Met Coal’s ongoing miner strike which has lasted since April 2021 over demands for better pay and benefits. (Photo by (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

The U.S. Supreme Court was wrong to legalize interracial marriage, Indiana Sen. Mike Braun, a Republican, argued on Tuesday. 

Suggesting the historic Loving v. Virginia ruling by the Supreme Court decades ago was a case of improper judicial activism, Braun said the court should have left that decision to the individual states, including those which had already outlawed interracial marriage. 

"When you want that diversity to shine within our federal system, there are going to be rules and proceedings, they're going to be out of sync with maybe what other states would do," Braun told reporters. "It's the beauty of the system, and that's where the differences among points of view in our 50 states ought to express themselves."

The Republican's larger point was to publicly dissuade President Joe Biden's Supreme Court nominee, Ketanji Brown Jackson, away from what he described as "activist" behavior from the bench. 


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"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," Braun said. "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."

He continued: "Stick with interpreting the law. Don't legislate from the bench."

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Braun then disapprovingly pointed to the Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling legalizing abortion nationwide. Pressed by a reporter on if he similarly disapproved of the decision to federally legalize interracial marriage, Braun said he did.

"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," Braun said. "I think that's hypocritical."

Braun went on to tell a Times of Northwest Indiana reporter that he is also open to the Supreme Court rescinding its 1965 Griswold v. Connecticut ruling establishing a right to privacy on contraceptive use.

"You can list a whole host of issues," Braun said. "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. But we're better off having states manifest their points of view, rather than homogenizing it across the country as Roe v. Wade did."

RELATED: Republicans turn Ketanji Brown Jackson's Supreme Court confirmation hearings into a QAnon circus

The Republican later tried to clean up his remarks. 

"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.


Sophia Tesfaye

Sophia Tesfaye is Salon's senior editor for news and politics, and resides in Washington, D.C. You can find her on Twitter at @SophiaTesfaye.

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Abortion Federalism Gop Indiana Loving V. Virginia Mike Braun Republicans Roe V. Wade Senate Supreme Court