“Now this is obviously huge news” he explained. For anyone who cares about reproductive and LGBT rights this is bad news “and we know it’s bad because Donald Trump Jr. was happy,” tweeting:
“OMG! Just when you thought this week couldn’t get any more lit…I give you Anthony Kennedy’s retirement from #SCOTUS”.
“I’m afraid I’m going to have to disagree with Mr. Junior on this because I personally don’t think this was lit at all,” Oliver snarked, warning teens not to let white men in their 40s hear the words they use because “we will bury them.”
Kennedy, appointed by Ronald Reagan, served as the swing vote on SCOTUS decisions, ruling in favor of same-sex marriage and Obamacare, for instance.
Trump is going to appoint someone who will swing further to the right, putting in peril both women’s reproductive rights and gay marriage. The Trump administration made its plans pretty clear when Veep Mike Pence tweeted:
“Thank you to Justice Anthony Kennedy for your long career of serving on the SCOTUS. @POTUS Trump will nominate a strong conservative, in the tradition of the late Justice Scalia, who will uphold all the God-given liberties enshrined in the Constitution of the United States.”
Which, Oliver noted, is “a little weird,” given that you don’t generally stand up at someone’s retirement party, thank them for all they did and tell them “rest assured we will replace you with someone exactly like that other guy who used to work here that we always liked much more than you.”
President Donald Trump was provided a list of potential nominees by conservatives including The Federalist Society, who sent one of its big cheeses to CBS This Morning to assure that Trump can just “throw a dart at that list and you’d be fine.”
“Well, you’re in luck on that one, because that will almost definitely be this president’s entire decision making process,” Oliver snarked.
Democrats have tried to appeal to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s sense of fairness and consistency by pointing out he refused to confirm President Obama’s Scalia replacement Merrick Garland because, McConnell said, it was too close to a major election.
“The problem there is that McConnell couldn’t give a flying f*ck about fairness or consistency,” Oliver explained, stating the obvious.
Plan B had Dem Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey arguing Trump is the subject of an ongoing criminal investigation that everyone knows could wind up before the Supreme Court.
Merits of that argument aside, Republicans have 51 seats in the Senate and they need 51 votes to confirm any new justice. So unless Democrats can convince their entire party to oppose Trump’s nominee and persuade a number of Republicans over to their side, they are out of luck, Oliver said.
Meaning it’s time for Democrats favorite game:
Hope Susan Collins Flips And Be Disappointed When She Doesn’t
“It’s America’s most depressing game show,” Oliver admitted.
“Consequences of Trump appointing anyone on that list will almost certainly be extremely grim,” the HBO late-night show host said, launching a reel of clips in which legal pundit Jeffrey Toobin at HBO’s sister cable network CNN declared Roe V Wade to be really most sincerely dead.
“Roe V Wade is doomed; it is gone because Donald Trump won the election,” Toobin said.
“Abortion will be illegal in quite a significant part of the United States,” Toobin assured.
“All this fantasy talk of, ‘I don’t know if Roe V Wade is going to be overturned – of course it will be overturned!” Toobin scolded other CNN talking heads.
And an exchange in which Anderson Cooper told Toobin he had heard him saying earlier that within 18 months abortion could be illegal in as many as 20 states, Toobin – a stickler for details – shot back, “No, I said abortion will be illegal in as many as 20 states because Roe V Wade is dead today.”
I’m happy to say here is some good news here,” Oliver told his viewers. “Because, it turns out there is a Constitutional loophole that allows Democrats – I’m obvious lying, there is no good news.”
And, barring some massive screw up from Trump, the only thing any of his viewers can do now is vote, Oliver advised.
“And there actually are two key elections you should really try and vote in. One is in 2016 and one in 2014. Because that is what got us into this mess.”