Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings have devolved into a festival of racist dog whistles, so much so that Republican senators who aren’t even on the Judiciary Committee are trying to get in on the action.
Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.) went so far as to tell reporters on Tuesday that he doesn’t believe interracial marriage should be legal nationwide, before later walking back his comments, claiming he didn’t understand the question. The question, however, was pretty explicit.
“You would be okay with the Supreme Court leaving the issue of interracial marriage to the states?” Braun was asked.
“Yes,” he said. “If you are not wanting the Supreme Court to weigh in on issues like that, you are not going to be able to have your cake and eat it too.”
REPORTER: "You would be okay with the Supreme Court leaving the issue of interracial marriage to the states?"
SEN. MIKE BRAUN (R-IN): "Yes. If you are not wanting the Supreme Court to weigh in on issues like that, you are not going to be able to have your cake and eat it too." pic.twitter.com/jiVTMOpC01
— Heartland Signal (@HeartlandSignal) March 22, 2022
The remarks came after Braun told reporters that he didn’t want a justice who was an “activist,” and that the court’s decision on Roe v. Wade was an example of such activism. Braun argued that such issues should be left up to the states and that striking down Roe would bring “it back to a neutral point, to where that issue should never have been federalized.” This prompted the question about whether he felt the same way about interracial marriage, which the court legalized in 1967, to which Braun, again, said yes.
He tried to walk back the comments. “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,” he said, according to NBC News.
Jackson is the first Black woman to be nominated to sit on the Supreme Court. She introduced her husband, who attended the hearing with one of their daughters, in an emotional moment on Monday. “I have no doubt that without him by my side from the very beginning of this incredible professional journey, none of this would have been possible,” she said. “We met in college more than three decades ago, and since then he’s been the best husband, father, and friend I could have ever imagined. Patrick, I love you.”
Judge Jackson introducing her understandably emotional husband while one of their daughters looks on with pride was a cool moment pic.twitter.com/1NJFGroDOy
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 21, 2022
Braun’s comments on Tuesday indicate he believes that states should have the right to prohibit Jackson and her husband, who is white, from being married.