Stephen Colbert lamented Supreme Court justice Anthony Kennedy’s announcement that he’s retiring effective July 31, calling it a “seismic political event.”
In his monologue, Colbert said Kennedy’s retirement gives Donald Trump the chance to fundamentally change the course of the Supreme Court, “and I would not trust Trump to fundamentally change the dessert course.”
Watch the clip above.
“I never thought I’d say, this but you’re only 81!” Colbert said about Kennedy. “You know they say 81 is the new 79. And don’t tell me your mind is going because I’ve read Bush v. Gore and Citizens United, and you never had one.”
Colbert brought up recent Supreme Court decisions, saying, “We are supremely screwed!”
“This could have huge repercussions,” Colbert continued. “The court that just this week crippled unions, upheld Trump’s Muslim band, and racist gerrymandering, might turn conservative.”
“Enjoy your gay marriages now, because as of August 1st, you’re back to being roommates,” Colbert said, referencing the 2016 Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court decision that recognized same sex marriage. Kennedy penned the majority opinion in that 5-4 ruling.
Colbert also discussed how Trump has said he’ll nominate a judge quickly, and that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would try to have a vote on the nominee by the fall — ahead of the upcoming midterm elections in November.
“Well of course before the midterms!” Colbert joked. “Just like you want to eat all the weed before the cop walks up to the driver-side window.”
Speaking of McConnell, Colbert noted how in 2016 he delayed the vote on Barack Obama’s SCOTUS nominee, Merrick Garland, insisting that because an election was coming, the nomination should be held until after the vote for president.
“You might recall that the Republicans got their 5-4 majority on the court because Mitch McConnell refused to let the Senate vote on Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland,” Colbert said. “That upset a lot of people, but Mitch McConnell is willing to take the high road — and forget he ever did it.”