Colbert And Booker Cast Doubt On SCOTUS, Insist Trump Verdict Is Above Criticism

News & Politics

CBS’s Stephen Colbert rolled out the welcome mat for New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker for a three segment interview on Monday’s installment of The Late Show. In segment one, the duo would portray former President Trump’s guilty verdict as beyond critics, while in segments two and three, they wildly speculated about the Supreme Court overturning Brown v. Board of Education and cast doubt on the Court’s legitimacy because the justices were confirmed by senators from Wyoming and the Dakotas.

Regarding the Trump verdict, Colbert wondered, “What about the accusation that this is not actually — so there’s no crime here?”

Booker replied by arguing that because the jury voted to convict, that must mean there was nothing wrong with the case, “So, you have a jury that was selected by the prosecutors and the defense. They agreed on a jury of 12 people that ranged from Fox News watchers all the way to no news watchers. These folks considered the facts, the law, and the evidence. They deliberated after a six-week trial and came back unanimously with 34 counts.”

The jury was not responsible for the instructions given to them by the judge or any of the other problems Trump may raise on appeal, but a sarcastic Colbert took Booker’s answer and ran with it, “Sounds like the fix was in from the beginning. If those guys didn’t have to debate that much and they came back with 34 convictions right away. Sounds like they already made up their minds before the trial started. You have to admit that that’s what that sounds like.”

Naturally, Booker did not. As for Colbert, he kicked off segment two by wondering, “One of the things that people are — speculation is that something is foundational to the modern American view of equality: Brown v. Board of Education could fall under the Supreme Court. What do you make– is that alarmist? Or would you not put this past them?”

Instead of simply saying “no, that’s ridiculous,” Booker went on a long, rambling response where he claimed, in part, “I was stunned when I saw a change, that justices, including some of the Supreme Court justices that he appointed came before us and when asked directly, was Brown v. Board of Education rightfully decided? They would not answer one way or the other.”

Booker can think liberal hero Ruth Bader Ginsberg and a certain former senator named Joe Biden for setting the precedent of not answering hypothetical questions that may one day come before the Court, no matter how obvious the answer may appear.

Later, in segment three, Colbert asked, “You’ve been in the Senate for over ten years and as a member of the Senate, how do you feel about my feeling about what’s killing this country is the United States Senate specifically?”

Elaborating, he added:

Those people on the Supreme Court that were put there were voted in by Senators who represent 41 million fewer Americans than, at the time, the minority party, the Democrats. So, of course, the judge in Texas, those people in the Supreme Court, Aileen Cannon for Pete’s sake, they are not representative of the will of the American people. How can the United States be a democratic representative country if the Senate continues its present structure because you continue to have the courts and the Senate move further away. Two senators from Wyoming have the same votes as two senators from California or in New York and represent a fraction of the number of people. One man, one vote goes to die in the Senate.

Booker added to the delegitimization efforts because it was appointed by Constitutional methods, including “the majority of our Supreme Court right now was put in place by a president who didn’t win the majority vote.”

He urged viewers to support amending the Constitution to fix this “problem,” but that may be more difficult than he is willing to admit. Alternativly, Democrats could just try winning elections in states like North Dakota.

Here is a transcript for the June 10 show:

CBS The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

6/11/2024

12:05 AM ET

STEPHEN COLBERT: What about the accusation that this is not actually — so there’s no crime here?

CORY BOOKER: So, you have a jury that was selected by the prosecutors and the defense. They agreed on a jury of 12 people that ranged from Fox News watchers all the way to no news watchers. These folks considered the facts, the law, and the evidence. They deliberated after a six-week trial and came back unanimously with 34 counts. 

COLBERT: So, that sounds to me and just for a second, sir, excuse me, if you’ll allow me—

BOOKER: Yes, yes, go ahead, please proceed, proceed, proceed.

COLBERT: Let me get a word and, if you’re not going to filibuster me. 

BOOKER: I am not going to filibuster you.

COLBERT: Sounds like the fix was in from the beginning. If those guys didn’t have to debate that much and they came back with 34 convictions right away. Sounds like they already made up their minds before the trial started. You have to admit that that’s what that sounds like.

BOOKER: I actually don’t think it sounds like that. I think it sounds like incredible citizens who stepped forward. They swore an oath to be impartial and they looked at the evidence and came to a conclusion, quick or not, that this was obviously come on its face, criminal activity and they convicted him for 34 counts. 

COLBERT: Let’s talk about the Supreme Court for a second.

BOOKER: Yeah.

COLBERT: One of the things that people are — speculation is that something is foundational to the modern American view of equality: Brown v. Board of Education could fall under the Supreme Court. What do you make– is that alarmist? Or would you not put this past them?

BOOKER: Take Donald Trump at his word and listen to people, what they say to you. I’ve been on the Judiciary Committee now for years and I was stunned when I saw a change, that justices, including some of the Supreme Court justices that he appointed came before us and when asked directly, was Brown v. Board of Education rightfully decided? They would not answer one way or the other. This idea that we are a nation of equality, the fundamental establishment in that case of this truth about America is that we should be a nation of equality and justice for all. Something as foundational is that now is being put into this sphere of being in question by jurists or refusing to affirm those ideals and so I have been shaken by seeing things happen in our federal judiciary that I never imagined possible. 

Let me give you an example if I can. One of Donald Trump’s extreme justices that he put on in the state of Texas decided that you know what, I, after almost 25 years of mifepristone, medical abortion being available to people in the United States, the number one means with which women often use that medication for abortions, something that’s been used for more than 25 years, one judge with no medical training decided to append it and freeze its usage. It is an extreme nature of the people he’s putting on the Court to take precedence, to take patterns, practices, and upturn them. And me and a lot of my colleagues now, realizing what’s happening at some of the rhetoric coming out of the Supreme Court in concurring opinions and more have made us move to protect same-sex marriage. Have made us move to protect things like in vitro fertilization

COLBERT: You’ve been in the Senate for over ten years and as a member of the Senate, how do you feel about my feeling – 

BOOKER: How do I feel about your feelings?

COLBERT: — about what’s killing this country is the United States Senate specifically, because all those judges you’re talking about were brought before the Senate and confirmed by the Senate, a Senate that is terribly anti-democratic. It’s not representative of the majority of the American people. Those people on the Supreme Court that were put there were voted in by Senators who represent 41 million fewer Americans—

BOOKER: Yes.

COLBERT: — than, at the time, the minority party, the Democrats. So, of course, the judge in Texas, those people in the Supreme Court, Aileen Cannon for Pete’s sake, they are not representative of the will of the American people. How can the United States be a democratic representative country if the Senate continues its present structure because you continue to have the courts and the Senate move further away. Two senators from Wyoming have the same votes as two senators from California or in New York and represent a fraction of the number of people. One man, one vote goes to die in the Senate.

BOOKER: So, let me drive home a bit more what you’re saying. Look, Wyoming, South Dakota, North Dakota have roughly less than a million people. California has 40 million people.

COLBERT: And Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, wonderful states, wonderful people—

BOOKER: People, yes.

COLBERT: — but that doesn’t mean the Senate isn’t broken.

BOOKER: But let me go further than that, you said the majority of the Supreme Court being confirmed by a Senate of people who represent 40 million less votes. Don’t forget, the majority of our Supreme Court right now was put in place by a president who didn’t win the majority vote because of the Electoral College. I’m not going to tell you that there are design issues within our Constitution that are problematic, but I’m also going to tell you that our Founders, these imperfect geniuses, put mechanisms within our Constitution to change it. 

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