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U.S. Sen. Mike Braun: SCOTUS should leave abortion, interracial marriage to states

U.S. Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.) said issues like abortion and interracial marriage should be decided by individual states, not the U.S. Supreme Court.
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U.S. Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.) said issues like abortion and interracial marriage should be decided by individual states, not the U.S. Supreme Court.

U.S. Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.) said the U.S. Supreme Court was wrong to legalize interracial marriage nationwide and should have left it to individual states.

Braun’s comments Tuesday came as he discussed what he’s looking for as he evaluates Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson.

As the Senate Judiciary Committee holds confirmation hearings for Jackson, Braun said she seems well qualified. And the GOP lawmaker said as he evaluates her record, he wants a justice who won’t be an “activist.”

“Stick with interpreting the law," Braun said. "Don’t legislate from the bench.”

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Braun said examples of judicial activism include the landmark decision legalizing abortion. He said the Supreme Court shouldn’t “homogenize” issues nationwide, instead leaving them up to individual states to decide – which extends, when asked, to include interracial marriage.

“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 said he thinks a few Republicans may ultimately vote to confirm Jackson.

In a statement, Indiana Democratic Party Chair Mike Schmuhl called Braun's comments "un-American."

"When Indiana Democrats say the Indiana Republican Party's culture wars are diminishing our nation's future, this is exactly what we mean," Schmuhl said. "Democrats implore all Hoosiers to ask themselves if they want to be associated with someone as embarrassing as Mike Braun."

In a new statement, Braun claims he misunderstood the line of questioning. The Republican said the Constitution unquestionably bans racial discrimination and that he condemns racism at all levels.

During the news conference, Braun was asked directly, "So, you would be OK with the Supreme Court leaving the question of interracial marriage to the states?"

He responded, "Yes."

This story has been updated.
Contact reporter Brandon at or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.