Late-night TV hosts object to Trump’s move to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Late-night TV hosts Seth Meyers, Trevor Noah and Jimmy Fallon paid tribute to the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Monday while condemning President Trump’s move to fill her Supreme Court seat ahead of the election.
“RBG gained more cultural fame than any Supreme Court justice before her — and deservedly so,” Noah said on “The Daily Show.” “Because even from the beginning of her life, RBG didn’t let societal expectations about women hold her back.”
“This country has lost a true hero, a relentless fighter and a role model to women everywhere,” Fallon said on “The Tonight Show.” “The loss of Justice Ginsburg makes it even more important that everyone votes in this election. So please, register and make sure your vote is counted.”
Trump and the Republican Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, have vowed to swiftly replace Ginsburg, despite the feminist hero’s dying wish that her successor be chosen by the next president. Ginsburg died Sept. 18 at age 87 after a long battle with cancer.
However, both Noah and Meyers pointed out that some Republican senators who are now in favor of Ginsburg’s immediate replacement were against nominating a new justice during an election year while Barack Obama was in the White House.
“Look, I get it that highlighting their hypocrisy is mostly pointless,” Meyers said on “Late Night.” “Hypocrisy only matters if you have shame. They don’t. Mitch McConnell certainly isn’t capable of feeling shame. He looks like a haunted wooden doll you’d find at an estate sale and has the same level of emotional complexity.
“Their bad-faith justifications were obvious bulls— back then, and their bad-faith reversals are obvious bulls— now. But it’s still worth taking stock of just how insulting and transparent their lies were and remembering that for the future, because it’s not just hypocrisy — it’s nihilism. They’re moral black holes who only care about the raw exercise of political power.”
On “The Daily Show,” Noah played the now-viral clip of South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham challenging the Judiciary Committee “to use my words against me” if he supported rushing a Supreme Court nominee with a Republican president after opposing the idea under Obama in 2016.
“Look, I know he looks like a giant hypocrite ... right now, but in Lindsey Graham’s defense, he didn’t know this would happen,” Noah joked. “It’s the same way you say, ‘Oh, if I won the lottery, I would give most of the money to an orphanage. I don’t need it that much.’ But then when you actually win the lottery, you’re knocking down the orphanage so you can build an extra garage for your cars. ...
“Honestly, I can relate to Lindsey here. Sometimes I tell myself that I’m not going to eat another Oreo. ‘No more Oreos!’ And then I totally overturn Roe v. Wade. I have no willpower, guys.”
Political drama aside, Noah ended his memorial segment to Ginsburg on a hopeful note, reminding viewers of the trailblazing legacy she left for Americans to honor.
“I know that with RBG’s passing, a lot of people right now feel hopeless, they feel defeated, and they feel like everything is lost,” Noah said. “But if there’s one thing that RBG’s life shows us, it’s that change isn’t easy. But if you put in the time, the effort and the dedication, you can see results. She never gave up. And she never stopped fighting.”
From the Emmys to the Oscars.
Get our revamped Envelope newsletter, sent twice a week, for exclusive awards season coverage, behind-the-scenes insights and columnist Glenn Whipp’s commentary.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.