Colbert to Kennedy on retirement: Don't tell me your mind's going because 'you never had one!'

CBS "Late Show" host Stephen Colbert slammed Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy after the 81-year-old announced his retirement, criticizing his decisions in two major cases.

"I never thought I’d say this, but you’re only 81! They say 81 is the new 79," Colbert joked during his opening monologue late Wednesday. "And don’t tell me your mind’s going, because I read Bush v. Gore and Citizen’s United. You never had one."

The ribbing came after Kennedy earlier Wednesday announced his retirement at the end of July. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellKey GOP senators appear cool to Kavanaugh accuser's demand Trump hints at new executive action on immigration, wants filibuster-proof Senate majority The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by United Against Nuclear Iran — The Hill interviews President Trump MORE (R-Ky.) announced his intention to hold a vote on President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump rallies in Nevada amid Supreme Court flurry: 'We're gonna get Brett' Trump: 'Good news' that Obama is campaigning again Trump boosts Heller, hammers 'Wacky Jacky' opponent in Nevada MORE's selection to replace Kennedy in the fall, despite staunch criticism from Democrats who want to delay the vote until after the election.


"This is a seismic political event, because Kennedy has been the decisive vote in many cases, and his retirement gives Trump the opportunity to fundamentally change the course of the Supreme Court," Colbert, who has made daily political events the centerpiece of his monologues, continued. "And I would not trust Trump to fundamentally change the dessert course."

"Oh, we are supremely screwed. I look forward to Wolf Blitzer in 2021: 'In the end, this Supreme Court case will be decided by the swing vote, Justice Meatloaf,' " he added, referring to the former rock star, whose real name is Marvin Lee Aday, who starred on Trump's "Celebrity Apprentice" on NBC in 2011.

"I could see Trump appointing [Rudy] Giuliani, just to keep him off television," Colbert said.

Kennedy was nominated by President Reagan in 1988 after Reagan's first choice, Robert Bork, was rejected by the Democratic-controlled Senate.

Bush v. Gore was the 2000 Supreme Court ruling that stopped a recount of votes in Florida during that year's presidential election, effectively making Republican nominee George W. Bush the winner over Democratic nominee Al GoreAlbert (Al) Arnold GoreAl Gore: 'This experiment with Trumpism is not going well' Protecting democracy requires action from all of us Poll: Democrat Bredesen leads GOP's Blackburn by 5 points in Tennessee Senate race MORE. Kennedy voted to stop the recount in a 5-4 decision.

Citizen's United, meanwhile, is the 2010 ruling that struck down limits on the amount of money entities such as super PACs can spend during campaigns. Kennedy also voted with the 5-4 majority.

Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia in January 2017, shortly after taking office.

Three months later, Gorsuch was confirmed by a 54-45 vote mostly along party lines.