INDIANAPOLIS – It was a controversial week for Indiana Senator Mike Braun, who drew strong criticism over comments on interracial marriage and the Supreme Court. It comes during a busy week on Capitol Hill as the Senate begins its high-profile confirmation battle over Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson.
In a call with reporters, Sen. Braun began by discussing the nomination process. He thinks several Republican lawmakers are leaning towards supporting Judge Jackson’s nomination. If confirmed, Judge Jackson would become the first African American woman to sit on the Supreme Court.
“I don’t think there’ll be any Democrat voting against her… I think there’s probably 3 or 4 Republicans that would maybe lean in that direction,” Sen. Braun said.
From there, reporters asked questions about cases like Roe v. Wade and if Sen. Braun supports similar controversial cases being overturned and left up to the states. He was then asked by Dan Carden of the Northwest Indiana Times if that theory should apply to the Loving v. Virginia decision on interracial marriage.
“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 to; I think that’s hypocritical,” Sen. Braun said.
That initial response received strong criticism from both sides of the aisle. In a statement, Indiana Democrats Chair Mike Schmuhl did not mince words.
“Mike Braun’s words and views are not only un-American, but beneath any respectable person wishing to hold public office,” Schmuhl said. “The United States Supreme Court has affirmed many times that marriage equality in our country extends to any committed couple.”
Later that day, Sen. Braun issued a written statement saying he “misunderstood a line of questioning that ended up being about interracial marriage.” He also clarified his stance following the controversy.
“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,” Sen. Braun said.
Watch more on Sen. Braun’s comments in the video above.