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Braun suggests Supreme Court overstepped bounds to legalize interracial marriage

U.S. Sen. Mike Braun of Indiana on Tuesday said that states should have the power to enact legislation on matters not expressly defined by the Constitution.
Published: Mar. 22, 2022 at 6:03 PM EDT
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA) - U.S. Sen. Mike Braun of Indiana on Tuesday said that states should have the power to enact legislation on matters not expressly defined by the Constitution -- from the legalization of marijuana to participation in high school sports to interracial marriage.

The Republican from Jasper fielded questions from the media in a virtual news conference, with Braun answering questions phoned in to Capitol Hill in Washington. The session came on the backdrop of a Supreme Court confirmation hearing (nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson) taking place nearby.

Moments before the Civil Rights matter became the point of discussion, Braun expressed his belief that the federal government and the High Court often overreach to force the hand of individual states. Asked by ABC21 if legislation regarding marijuana should rest with the states, Braun said he supported that and noted that action on the state level had become widespread on that matter.

Moments later, Dan Carden, of the Times of Northwest Indiana, asked if Braun would consider a Supreme Court ruling to rescind Roe vs. Wade to be “judicial activism.” Braun said he considered the original ruling in that case to be the overreach.

A follow up asked if he would consider the 1967 ruling in Loving vs. Virginia -- that required states to allow interracial marriage -- to also amount to judicial activism.

  • Braun: So when it comes to, when it comes to issues, you can’t have it both ways. 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. It’s a beauty of the system, and that’s where the differences among points of view and our 50 states ought to express themselves.
  • Reporter: So, you would be okay with the Supreme Court leaving the question of interracial marriage to the states?
  • Braun: Yes. 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. I think that’s hypocritical.

In Loving vs. Virginia, an interracial couple sued to overturn a state law banning the marriage of two people of different races.

The Indiana Democratic Party pounced on the comments, tweeting: “Democrats implore all Hoosiers to ask themselves if they want to be associated with someone as embarrassing as Sen. Braun and a form of (Indiana Republican) partisanship that endorses white nationalist views.”

IndyStar then published a follow-up comment from Braun, in which he said he “misunderstood a line of questioning” and said the Constitution prohibits racial discrimination.

Sen. Mike Braun late Tuesday offered the IndyStar a clarification of comments he made earlier...
Sen. Mike Braun late Tuesday offered the IndyStar a clarification of comments he made earlier in the day.(WPTA)

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