Stephen Colbert was nearly inconsolable Wednesday night. “I don’t want to be alone right now,” he admitted at the top of his monologue. “If you’re on a low-carb diet, you’re in luck, because there ain’t no way to sugarcoat this.”
With that, The Late Show host broke the news his audience no doubt already knew: Justice Anthony Kennedy is retiring from the Supreme Court. “I never thought I’d say this, but you’re only 81!” Colbert exclaimed. “And don’t tell me your mind’s going, because I read Bush v. Gore and Citizens United, you never had one,” he added in a parting shot at the court’s most reliable swing vote.
“This is a seismic political event,” Colbert continued, which will give President Trump the chance to “fundamentally change the course” of the Court, as The New York Times put it. “I would not trust Trump to fundamentally change the dessert course,” he added.
“Oh, we are supremely screwed,” Colbert declared, predicting that Kennedy’s retirement could have “huge repercussions” for generations to come. “Think about it,” he said. “The court that just this week crippled unions, upheld Trump’s Muslim ban and race-based gerrymandering might turn conservative.”
Noting that Kennedy’s retirement will officially go into effect on July 31st, Colbert told viewers, “So enjoy your gay marriages now, because as of August 1st you’re back to being roommates.”
Colbert also went after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for his brazen hypocrisy on Kennedy’s replacement after blocking President Obama’s nominee Merrick Garland for the eight months leading up to the 2016 election. “That upset a lot of people, but Mitch McConnell is willing to take the high road and forget he ever did it,” Colbert joked.
In a speech from the Senate floor on Wednesday, McConnell intoned, “It’s imperative that the president’s nominee be treated fairly.” To which Colbert replied, “Oh really? That’s like Typhoid Mary saying, ‘Read the sign, guys, all employees must wash hands.’”