John Oliver took a deep dive into Donald Trump’s Supreme Court pick Amy Coney Barrett and how we ended up with “a president who lost the popular vote will have picked the quarter of the federal judiciary and one-third of the supreme Supreme Court.”
Trump is about to replace a liberal icon with an extremely conservative justice who has been called ‘the female Antonin Scalia,’ “and she could serve for a long time.”
Oliver pointed out that cases involving the Affordable Care Act, DACA, and abortion laws have been decided by just one vote: “Should those issues come before the court again, they could now easily go the other way. And there is clearly no point holding on to hope that conservatives might choose to respect the precedent they set by refusing to even consider Merrick Garland in an election year, because that was always in bad faith, as was obvious at the time.”
Oliver then brought up a quote by Richard Burr (R-NC) in 2016: “If Hillary Clinton becomes president, I’m gonna do everything I can do to make sure that four years from now, we’ve still got an opening on the Supreme Court.”
“That’s a Republican senator committing to blocking a justice confirmation, not just in an election year but in an entire presidential term,” Oliver added.
Oliver then brought up Mitt Romney’s recent remarks that the nation is “center-right” and deserves a center-right Supreme Court.
“For the record, more Americans say they align with the Democratic Party than the Republicans and “favor abortion rights,” Oliver added. “Our country isn’t so much ‘center-right’ as Mitt Romney is ‘center-wrong’.”
“Look, this has been a very dark week for a lot of people,” Oliver continued. “The Supreme Court is about to lurch to the right for the foreseeable future, and if things seem hopeless right now, it’s because, to be completely honest, they basically are. This is a pivotal moment. And while we got here a little bit by bad luck and bad timing, we also got here through diligent effort by Republican leadership and crucially, some very big systemic problems which just have to be addressed. So tonight let’s talk about that. Specifically, how the f**k we got here and what the f**k we can possibly do next.”
Oliver pointed out Mitch McConnell’s blockade of Merrick Garland, and facilitation of Trump’s stacking the courts with conservative judges. Oliver also pointed out that when Obama was president McConnell began systematically blocking dozens of his nominees so a Republican president could fill them later.
McConnell has told Trump he’s as strong as “mule piss,” a statement Oliver characterized as both “horrendous and deeply weird.”
As easy and as fun as it is to blame Mitch McConnell and his mule piss for everything, it is a mistake to focus just on the people involved here because there is a whole system underneath them that has enabled them to do what they have done,” Oliver added.
“A Democrat has won the national popular vote in four out of the last five elections,” Oliver explained. “But we’ve spent 12 of the last 20 years with a Republican in office. And that is because the Electoral College, with its winner-take-all approach of the states, can distort the will of the majority. On top of which, it gives disproportionate power to less populous states, which tend to be rural and more conservative. Something that is even more pronounced in the Senate.”
“The unavoidable truth is that the system is already rigged and it’s rigged in a way that has allowed a party without popular support to drastically reshape an entire branch of government for the foreseeable future by appealing almost exclusively to white voters in some of the least populous parts of the country,” Oliver continued. “That is not a mandate or democracy. It’s a f**king travesty. We’re at the end of a generational battle and the heartbreaking thing is – we lost. It’s going to hurt for a long time for a lot of people. The next battle has to start right now. Sometimes fighting fire with fire is not enough. You have to fight mule piss with mule piss.”
Watch the full segment below: