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GOP Sen. Mike Braun walks back comment saying Supreme Court shouldn't have legalized interracial marriage

Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.) is walking back comments he made about the Supreme Court leaving decisions on interracial marriage and abortion to the states, claiming he "misunderstood" a reporter's question.

During a conference call with journalists on Tuesday, Braun began talking about the nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court, and told a reporter from Indiana's The Times newspaper that there are several Supreme Court decisions he thinks should have been handled by states. Specifically, he would welcome the Supreme Court rescinding the 1967 Loving v. Virginia ruling that legalized interracial marriage nationwide and the 1973 ruling Roe v. Wade, which established the national right to abortion.

"You can list a whole host of issues," Braun said. "When it comes down to whatever they are, I'm going to say they're not going to all make you happy within a given state. But we're better off having states manifest their points of view, rather than homogenizing it across the country as Roe v. Wade did." Braun went on to reject the Supreme Court's unanimous reasoning that the freedom to marry is a fundamental constitutional right, and said it would be fine if a marriage is recognized in one state and not another.

That's "the beauty of the system," Braun told The Times. "This should be something where the expression of individual states are able to weigh-in on these issues through their own legislation, through their own court systems. Quit trying to put the federal government in charge."

Braun later tried to at least partly take back his comments, saying he misunderstood what was being asked about Loving v. Virginia. The Times notes Braun was asked the question "multiple times in different ways" to ensure he "meant and understood what he said concerning interracial marriage."

"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," Braun said.