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Now That Roe is Gone, What’s Next? Mixed Marriages?

Clarence Page, Tribune Content Agency on

Now that the Supreme Court has overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide in 1973, could same-sex marriage be next?

Or even interracial marriage?

I’m not too worried about interracial marriage since, to coin an old phrase, the justices themselves have skin in the game.

Justice Clarence Thomas and recently confirmed nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson, for example, are African Americans married to white spouses, which, at the very least, would make for awkward deliberations if the issue were to be brought back to the high court.

Yet the issue returned, if somewhat accidentally, during Judge Jackson’s confirmation hearings when Republican senators suggested that the historic 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges decision that legalized same-sex marriage should be revisited.

After Republican Sen. Mike Braun of Indiana suggested that such matters as same-sex marriage should be left up to the states, he was asked whether he thought the Supreme Court should also leave interracial marriage to the states.

 

He responded affirmatively, saying the diversity of views in our federal system is part of “the beauty of the system.”

Indeed, that was the not-so-beautiful system until 1967 when 16 states, mostly in the South, still retained so-called anti-miscegenation laws. The case involved Mildred Loving, a woman of color, and her white husband, Richard Loving, who had been sentenced to a year in prison for marrying each other.

But, after his statement quickly drew a blizzard of unwelcome attention, Braun vigorously backpedaled. He had “misunderstood a line of questioning,” he said, “that ended up being about interracial marriage, and 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,” he continued, “and I condemn racism in any form, at all levels and by any states, entities, or individuals.”

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