Indiana Daily Student

Sen. Mike Braun says interracial marriage ruling should have been state decision, walks back comment

<p>Sen. Mike Braun celebrates his win in the Senate race Nov. 6, 2019, at the JW Marriott in Indianapolis. Braun walked back his statement saying interracial marriage ruling should have been a state decision Tuesday in a release.</p>

Sen. Mike Braun celebrates his win in the Senate race Nov. 6, 2019, at the JW Marriott in Indianapolis. Braun walked back his statement saying interracial marriage ruling should have been a state decision Tuesday in a release.

After claiming in a media call that the Supreme Court was wrong to legalize interracial marriage and the decision should have been left up to the states, Indiana Sen. Mike Braun released a statement walking back his remarks Tuesday.

Many people took to social media and other platforms to condemn his original statement in the media call, along with Mike Schmuhl, chairman of the Indiana Democratic Party.

Schmuhl criticized Braun’s comments in a written statement saying Braun does not represent Hoosiers and asks if they truly want to be associated with him.

“Mike Braun’s words and views are not only un-American, but beneath any respectable person wishing to hold public office,” Schmuhl said in a written statement.

Braun’s responses were prompted by a reporter’s question about the Supreme Court’s consideration of striking down the right to abortion.

Braun said Supreme Court justices should never legislate from the bench and considered the landmark Roe v. Wade case, which legalized the right to abortion, to be judicial activism.

He said attempting to codify these types of issues in federal law is an issue, however, this new case concerning Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban moves the issue back to a supposed neutral status.

“I think this would be bringing it back to a neutral point to where that issue should have never been federalized way out of sync, I think, with the contour of America then,” Braun said.

A reporter followed up by asking about the landmark case Loving v. Virginia, which struck down laws banning interracial marriage in the United States, and whether his thinking should be applied to that case.

"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 said. “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 reporter asked Braun to clarify that he was in fact saying the decision on whether or not interracial marriage should be legal should have been left to the states in 1967.

"Yes,” Braun said. “I think that that's something that 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." 

Later that day, Braun sent out a release walking back his original claim.

“Earlier during a virtual press conference I misunderstood a line of questioning that ended up being about interracial marriage," Braun said in the release. "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.”

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