That’s how Stephen Colbert kicked off The Late Show On Tuesday night, addressing the news that a leaked draft opinion from the Supreme Court revealed that the highest court in the land is likely set to overturn Roe v. Wade, a landmark decision protecting a woman’s right to choose whether to have an abortion (or really, to exercise control over her own body). The ruling has been reaffirmed a number of times over the years, including in Planned Parenthood v. Casey.
Donald Trump, a former reality-show host who lost the popular vote for the president and has been accused of sexual misconduct by over 20 women, nominated three of the nine Supreme Court justices, while the opinion was written by Samuel Alito, who was nominated by another Republican president who lost the popular vote, George W. Bush.
In his opinion, Alito argued: “We hold that Roe and Casey Must be overruled… a right to abortion is not deeply rooted in the Nation’s history and traditions. On the contrary, an unbroken tradition of prohibiting abortion on pain of criminal punishment persisted from the earliest days of the common law.”
“Because nothing says looking toward the future like adhering to the earliest days of common law,” cracked Colbert. “That’s why I believe that life begins at ‘white landholding male.” (Indeed, such logic would appear to rule out any societal progress.)
If the Supreme Court Can Overturn Roe v. Wade, It Can Ban Interracial Marriage
Alito was joined in the decision by conservative justices Clarence Thomas, Amy Coney Barrett, Neil Gorsuch, and Brett Kavanaugh.
“So, congratulations, ladies—decisions about what you can do with your body are now being made by four old dudes and a woman who thinks The Handmaid’s Tale is a rom-com,” said Colbert.
Colbert then threw to the confirmation hearings of Alito, Barrett, Gorsuch, and Kavanaugh, who all claimed that Roe v. Wade was “settled as a precedent” and “the law of the land,” among other things.
“So, if these folks believe that Roe v. Wade was so egregiously decided, why didn’t they tell the senators that during their hearing confirmations?” asked Colbert. “Well, because American voters support abortion in all or most cases at 80 percent. They knew that if they were honest, they wouldn’t get the job, so they lied, which I think is perjury. But what do I know? I’m not a Supreme Court justice. I’m not a good enough liar.”
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