RSS
WATCH: John Oliver slams the Supreme Court over the Voting Rights Act
The Daily Show host rips the high court's conservative majority for gutting minority voting rights, unless Congress steps in. Sigh.
 

The Supreme Court struck down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act on Tuesday — thus punching a hole through the landmark civil rights law "in the exact shape of John Roberts' middle finger," says John Oliver on Tuesday night's Daily Show.

If the law were as obsolete and archaic as Chief Justice Roberts suggests, says Oliver, then the Justice Department probably wouldn't have found it necessary to invoke it 74 times since 2000. And Texas, Oliver points out, waited less than two hours before announcing it would put its own contentious voting laws into place immediately following the ruling.

The good news, Oliver says, is that the Supreme Court opened the door to fixing the problem; the bad news is that the hopeless Congress would have to pass the fix. This sets him off on an extended riff about how Congress — and mostly the House — can't pass anything big, wastes time focusing on hopeless legislation, and only excels at passing "borderline meaningless legislation." There's a musical montage.

For the wild card segment, Oliver returns to the courts, though not the rarified air of the Supreme Court. No, he takes us to Day 1 of the murder trial of George Zimmerman. The highly controversial shooting death of Trayvon Martin actually isn't funny at all, Oliver says, so he doesn't want to make a joke of it. Unfortunately, he adds, the same can't be said of Zimmerman's lawyer, Don West, who literally begins the defense case with a horrible knock-knock joke. Watch:

 
Peter Weber is a senior editor at TheWeek.com, and has handled the editorial night shift since 2008. A graduate of Northwestern University, Peter has worked at Facts on File and The New York Times Magazine. He speaks Spanish and Italian, and plays in an Austin rock band.

THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER

Subscribe to the Week